Friday, December 28, 2007

Resolutions or Revolution

It's that time of the year again. The only thing between us and the end of the holiday season is New Year's Eve, and with it come the dreaded New Year's Resolutions.

There are several problems with New Year's Resolutions. First, they usually require a lot of effort. That's why we put them off from year to year. Secondly, they can also be really unpleasant - again, another reason to procrastinate. Thirdly, they are usually either so far beyond our grasp (I promise to lose 50 pounds by spring) or so ridiculous (I promise to lose 50 pounds by spring) that we never really have a chance of succeeded with any of them.

This year, resolve not to resolve. Instead, make a commitment to change the world. If you think that's really beyond your grasp, think again. A delightful new movement called We Are What We Do has created an equally delightful book entitled, Change the World for Ten Bucks: 50 ways to make a difference.

To quote the We Are What We Do's website, "We're not another charity. We're not an institution. We Are What We Do is a movement. We'd like to inspire people to use their everyday actions to change the world. Whoever they are. And wherever they are. And that includes you.

We've created 50 simple, everyday actions that can improve our environment, our health, and our communities, making our planet and the people on it much happier. We started by putting these actions in a book, but the whole movement is getting bigger. And bigger."

We Are What We Do began in the UK in 2004 and has spread like wildfire around the world. The growing success of the movement is simple. Where else can you change the world, feel good and have fun for ten dollars? Truth is, you don't even need ten dollars. The 50 tips printed in the book are also available online. But having spent ten minutes reading the book, I can guarantee you'll want to own it.

More importantly, the money from the sale of the books is helping to change the world. The money raised from UK sales now helps over 50,000 vulnerable children, young people and adults every year and has also helped to launch We Are What We Do in Canada. Buying the book will help to make the Canadian chapter self-sufficient and allow them to expand their projects into a schools program, national action days and other books and cool stuff to keep people inspired.

So, how do change the world, with or without ten bucks?

You can start with Action #1,"Learn mouth to mouth resuscitation". As the book says, "Give someone a kiss they’ll remember the rest of their life.” Hopefully you'll never have to use this particular skill, but simply knowing that you have the power to save someone's life can really change your attitude about the power that one individual can have to do good in this world.

"Spending time with someone from a different generation" is Action #14 and comes with a lovely picture of an old black man wearing a T-shirt that says, "Talk to old people, they know cool stuff you don't." His arm is wrapped around a young white boy whose T-shirt reads, "Talk to young people, they know cool stuff you don't."

Then there’s Action #28, "Hang your clothes out to dry. If don't think that this can make a difference, consider the fact that one load of laundry in the dryer uses enough energy to make 250 pieces of toast. Wow.

How about Action #35, "Write to someone who inspired you." The funny thing about teachers, writers, community and other leaders is that more often than not they have no idea that what they are doing is inspiring someone else. Tell them.

No more samples. You'll have to go online and check it out for yourself, or spend ten dollars and help start a revolution.

What a great way to start the New Year!


Resolve to find out more about this simple little idea that is changing the world, one action at a time. Visit

Change the World for Ten Bucks is published by New Society Publishers and is worth ten times the ten bucks that it costs. The book can be ordered online at


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