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5 Easy Ways You Can Make a Positive Difference in the World RIGHT NOW

Making a difference is easier than you think.

1. Donate to the ACLU. Like the Constitution? So do they. The American Civil Liberties Union is a non-profit, non-partisan team of lawyers and activists that defend constitutional rights. Charity Navigator gives the ACLU a score of four stars.

2. Read a good book and share it. I have read quite a few great books these days that emphasize the teaching of American history, cultural awareness, activism, and science and technology. Read them. Share them with your children and your friends.

  • For the littlest of littles: Faith Ringgold’s We Came to America is a lovely picture book about the cultural diversity that makes America great.We Came to America Faith RinggoldFaith Ringgold We Came to America
  • For elementary school kids: Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney and The Camping Trip That Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and our National Parks by Barb Rosenstock are great choices. Sit-In is a lovely book which tells very simply the story of the four African-American college students who sat at a “whites-only” Woolworth’s lunch counter in 1960 to protest segregation.Sit-in pinkney
  • The Camping Trip That Changed America tells the story of what, in 1903, inspired Theodore Roosevelt to protect America’s wilderness.That camping trip that saved america
  • For high-schoolers and up: Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother is a good one. The book is about a teenage hacker in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack in San Francisco, when The Department of Homeland Security clamps down on individual freedoms under the guise of ‘safety.’ Little Brother Cory Doctorow
  • For anyone interested in the intersection of science and society: Siddhartha Mukherjee’s The Gene is absolutely enlightening. It is not just straight science. It a history of how scientific discovery can change society, and how misunderstanding that discovery can lead to nightmare scenarios. (Which leads me to the conclusion that science education is now more important than ever, so everyone can have a clear understanding of science and not be lulled into false representations that can serve political purposes.)The Gene Siddhartha Mukherjee

3. Help defund horrible alternative news websites: Sleeping Giants, an anonymous internet collective, is aiming at “trying to stop racist websites by stopping their ad dollars. Many companies don’t even know it’s happening. It’s time to tell them.” If you have a twitter account, follow the steps below on How To Be A Giant:

Here’s one of my contributions (can’t wait to hear from the trolls on this one):

4. Contact your Congress person. Calling is most effective. Tell them how you would like them to vote on upcoming issues. If you like their votes so far, let them know. If you don’t know who is representing you in Congress, you can find out here.

I recently download a free app called Countable that tells you who is representing you. It also gives info on upcoming legislation. I haven’t used it much yet, so if you have any feedback on it, please let me know.

countable app
Screenshot of Countable

(UPDATE 3/17/17): You can also text-fax with Resistbot.

text-fax resistbot

5. Grab your wallet. Go here to find out what companies you should be boycotting and why. Here is a current list of the top 10:

  1. Macy’s
  2. Neiman Marcus
  3. L.L. Bean
  4. Bloomingdale’s
  5. Zappos
  6. Amazon
  7. Hudson Bay
  8. T.J. Maxx
  9. Lord & Taylor
  10. Bed, Bath, & Beyond

(UPDATE 3/19/17): #grabyourwallet is a national campaign to boycott retailers that do business with the Trump family.

Do you know of any more easy ways to change the world for the better? Please share them in the comments below.

Please like and share with your friends.

Janette DeFelice, MD, MA is a writer currently focusing on how the changing environment affects our health. Her essay collection Resistance Essays from the Heartland and her new novel Delia Rising: A Ballet in Three Acts are both available now. She has also published at Be The Change Mom, ChicagoNow, and She holds a Doctor of Medicine degree from Chicago Medical School and a Master’s degree in Humanities from the University of Chicago, where her major essay was Hegel and Ibsen: The Evolution of Consciousness in Ibsen’s Prose Play Cycle. She also has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Indiana University. A former professional dancer, former adjunct Humanities professor, and former lecturer in Medical Clinical Skills, as well as a mom of 9-year-old twins, she currently finds herself at a career/life crossroads at which she is trying to figure out how to use all aspects of herself (her art, her medical and scientific knowledge, her philosophical explorations, her interest in popular culture as a teaching tool, and her unique perspective) for the good of humanity.

3 comments on “5 Easy Ways You Can Make a Positive Difference in the World RIGHT NOW

  1. Anne YCC

    From what I’ve heard Linda Bean is the only Bean out of around 50 who has supported 45. The store is not supporting 45. I get banning the stores that sell Trumpware, but I’m 99.99% confident Beans doesn’t sell any of that crap. It’s back woods merchandise, rockie coast ware. Don’t hate Beans just because they have one bad apple in the family.


    • I understand that Linda Bean is on the board of L.L. Bean. She made a substantial donation to Trump. Trump’s response was to send a tweet thanking L.L. Bean for their support.

      Link here:

      The company, to the best of my knowledge, has done nothing besides state that they aren’t political, to distance themselves from this. What Trump and his Republican team are doing is no longer political. It’s dangerous–bordering on treason.

      It’s interesting to me when common people stick up for corporations. Do you have any sort of stake in L.L. Bean? Just wondering.


  2. Pingback: 5 MORE Easy Ways to Make a Positive Difference RIGHT NOW – Be The Change Mom

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