Make a Difference – at your convenience!

Oct 26th, 2012 | By | Category: Articles

Doesn’t the title sound oxymoron-ish to you? Can one make a difference at one’s own convenience? Read on to find out what I think.

I have always been under the impression that it takes an amazing amount of time, money and dedication to make any difference in this cruel world. The world around me, however, has been telling me otherwise. Apparently, I can make a difference at my own convenience, and in more ways than one – ways which I was unaware of until the recent past. Since I am aware of them now, I feel that it is my moral duty to enlighten you as well.

I have been told that you can run for a cause. You can run half-marathons, quarter marathons, all-day marathons, and you can even run in the alley if it’s a sponsored event for a cause. My running for the cause is somehow meant to further the cause, although I fail to understand how.

Yes, maybe, if I was carrying supplies to the affected people while running, or if I was running in a hamster wheel which would convert mechanical energy to electrical energy, my running could make some sense. Otherwise, all I am doing is paying money to run with a tag that advertises the social responsibility quotient of a large corporate.

I am not against the people who think that their running makes a difference. If they truly feel that running alongside pretty women on well-maintained roads, covered by hordes of media people is somehow meant to translate into welfare for another lesser-privileged section of society, then I respect their choice. However, I choose not to be a part of this convenient way of convincing myself that I have done some good for the society by running my lungs out.

Wearing Black
Unless I am a person in an influential position in the political/social/economic hierarchy, my wearing black to support, or oppose, or sympathize with some worldly event is not going to help anyone in anyway. All I am doing is causing a spike in the black dye prices due to a surge in the demand for that commodity.

I have been told that my photography can also make a difference if I buy an expensive DSLR and go around the city capturing the random everyday moments in every nook and corner. I have been told that this activity also has a name – it’s called photo-walking. It requires you to walk long distances with a heavy camera strapped to your neck (which in all probability could give you spondylitis over time).

Once I have taken these random shots, I have been told to use Photoshop to enhance these images and share them on every possible social network known to mankind. Looking at my photographs is supposed to make the world a better place. Again, I fail to understand how.

The ‘online’ way
For every share of this message, Facebook will contribute 2 cents towards saving a poor African kid – How often have we seen this  kind of a message shared on Facebook. While, Zuckerberg is still recovering from the disastrous IPO that happened earlier this year, I am not sure he would continue to pay 2 cents per share to that African kid any longer. All that will happen with this exercise is that Facebook would need to expand its database to accommodate more of such cyber junk.

Politicians definitely will not stop being corrupt just because I upload a photo of Anna Hazare, or Arvind Kejriwal, on my wall. All my RIP messages on FB or Twitter are not going to reach the deceased. Nor are they going to matter to the deceased’s relatives who may feel obligated to reply to each and every one of such messages.

And for the love of God, Microsoft will not give me millions of dollars if I share a message on FB. They did not pay me when, a few years back, I forwarded a message via email to everyone in my address book. They won’t pay me now either.

What to do then?
The next question which everyone will ask me is what do I do to make a difference. I won’t list down the stuff I do, as it get preachy. But, I would say that raising awareness is just the tip of the iceberg, and does not translate into much unless you go through with the entire process.

You have to dedicate your time, money (if necessary) and constantly channelise your efforts in the right direction to bring about some positive change in the world around you. Change does not come about if you make sporadic ‘at your convenience and comfort’ efforts. Such efforts can only fool you into believing that you are doing some good to the world, whereas in reality,you are not doing any good to anyone, including yourself. Signing off with a Sherlock Holmes quote – Food for thought!

(Image courtesy: calebac09 from

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Shredder is a dreamer. He likes to live at a relaxed pace; spontaneity is not his forte. Shredder likes to experiment a lot, with whatever, wherever and whenever. He doesn’t stick to any hobby for more than a year or two. Writing is something he has started off late, but it has somehow stayed on. For how long, only time will tell.

Shredder has written 15 articles on The MAG. View all articles by

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  1. Abby, Remember MADF? Good article 🙂

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