It happens one thought at a time, one act of love at a time, one commitment at a time. Make the day you were born more than just a number on a calendar; let it be a celebration of the instant you began to make a difference.
On an August day in 2012, in a remote jungle village in Peru, a group of little girls jostled each other for a turn at a newly installed spigot, where they could fill plastic cups for their first-ever drink of filtered water.
BOOM. BOOM. BOOM-BOOM-BOOOOOMMMMM! Annoying, isn't it? But guess what -- that's what life will be like for marine mammals in the Atlantic Ocean now that the Obama administration has re-opened the East Coast, from Delaware to Florida, to offshore oil and gas exploration.
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Service creates citizens, and service solves problems. Across the nation, there are ambitious efforts to expand the notion of service -- especially a service year -- as a formative, binding experience and a means to unleash human capital.
Anybody who has lived with cats or dogs knows this and knows it for certain: Cats and dogs think deeply. When my stubborn, huge-hearted dog Spike was getting old and sick, I tended to him as if he was one of the family -- because he was.
I have been a mother for 17 years. It has taken all this time for me to realize children are never too young to teach them to open their hearts.
Every one of us is going to have our own pace. We can't compare ourselves to other dancers, or other people. We need to be patient, and gentle with ourselves. Just do your best and trust in the process. When we keep going, we eventually get there. There are many paths to any destination.
Does the U.S. have a stronger sense of independence than other countries? Could this sense of independence translate into acts of kindness and purpose?
It isn't just the nightmarish consequences of this noise pollution that makes this plan wrong. We know drilling along the Atlantic Coast will mean a higher risk for oil spills, more polluted beaches and waters, more industrial equipment and fewer pristine places for wildlife and people.
The Peace Corps has always been about igniting a passion for service. When it was created by President John F. Kennedy, it presented a model for international service that was so unique, so unprecedented, that many said it will never work.
Around this time of year, many young people are well into summer jobs. Taking advantage of time between school years, they're gaining skills and experience that can translate to future employment success.
Once you have found an organization you are comfortable with, how do you help them? There are two main ways to consider: Do you support them with a financial gift or do you give your time?
"Every day on my way to and from school, I'd see the same homeless man with shoes that were completely falling apart," says Mimi. "I wanted to do something to help people like him."
As the day progressed, runners, walkers, and volunteers flocked to the registration area where I was working. It became organized chaos. Before long, the entire park was filled with bright yellow and orange shirts emblazoned with the YAI logo.
I have never done anything like this in my life. On a whim, I decided to defer my MD/PhD program to volunteer in Bolivia. I was hoping to make at least a small difference in someone's life.