How to Contribute to Society

Rear View of Group of Friends Hugging

The feeling of being useless can come from deep psychological mechanisms. Simply being useful may not stop the feeling of being useless. In contrast, not contributing to society (leeching society’s benefits) may create or amplify many negative feelings.

entrepreneur_article1-710x434The essence of human productivity is taking one kind of good and turning it into another kind. In order to make some output, you need input. Take something or material, move it to a more useful place, or combine it with other materials to make something. Not all of us have access to the best inputs. There are no free inputs, but forward-thinking individuals have created things like the Internet, which can be the next best thing to free inputs. Your local library is another source of cheap or free inputs. It may seem counter-intuitive when you intend to create something out of yourself, that the first thing you need to do is take some things in. But the truth is that in order to be a producer, you must first be a consumer. You cannot be productive based on a blank slate.

Smile and be polite to those you meet (even if your cat scratched up your favourite jacket last night). If you have suppressed negative emotions, people around you will sense this and get “a bad vibe”, so find a friend to talk to.

Give more than you take (think karma). Consider society like a sandbox. Each time you “get a stroke of luck”, you get more sand to play with. Be thankful for this and the next time you get the chance, help somebody else (selfless acts will create a mutual positive feeling, see step 3).

relationship-advice-from-friends_tbpqListening and sharing feelings is mutual. When you tell/share a negative feeling with somebody else, let them share theirs, too. Try to balance up by sharing something positive as well. This will contribute to the people closest to you by letting them offload otherwise soul crushing feelings (step 3) and by mutual sharing and listening you are contributing by being a dependable character.

The opposite option would have been to just spew out your emotions and letting everybody else clean up the mess of emotions you poured over them.

woman-crying_920x380_scaled_croppMost of the times we are powerless to act against corruption and injustice, sometimes we can support a person being subjected to this by showing the victim (a co-worker who just got yelled at by their boss) that you agree with him/her. A few times in your life you’ll get the chance to really tear things up (anonymously sending proof of your boss’s corruption to a news agency, for instance). The feeling of victory is unbeatable.

Give blood. A blood or blood-plasma shortage will force surgeons to give each patient less blood and plasma, replacing them with inferior products. The downside for you is that you walk home with a band-aid on you arm which discretely states you just did a selfless act.

Never discriminate. Even if groups can be over-represented in statistics, this says nothing about each individual. Protect the weak. Join a charity and raise money and awareness for the cause. Join a charity and raise money and awareness for the cause.