12 ways you can influence the world from the comfort of your couch

You can make a difference, but do you have the time to? The answer is yes you do and I can tell you how.

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  • Life keeps me busy. Sometimes I consider what I'm doing and ask myself "Am I making a difference in the world?" Though sometimes I feel discouraged, I try to keep in mind that making a difference doesn't happen all at once and doesn't even need to be hard. Making a difference in one person's life can change the world.

  • So despite the things that keep you busy, here are 12 ways you can make a difference without getting off your comfortable couch:

  • Be My Eyes

  • This app is a simply incredible way to help someone in need. Be My Eyes" makes it possible for a visually impaired person to request someone to read something or describe a room through video. In such a small way you can touch the life of thousands.

  • Be a husband or wife

  • Supporting and loving your spouse is vital in any relationship, but it also impacts the world around you. Friends who are in abusive relationships might get the courage to seek a healthy relationship when they see you and your spouse. Never be afraid to share how you overcame any marital problems. You many never fully understand how your relationship will help not only your spouse but the people around you.

  • Be a parent

  • As parents, you have the opportunity to help create the future through your children. By influencing your children to seek good and to be wise in their decisions, you are changing the world.

  • Foster/adopt children

  • There are many children born into families or circumstances which require them to enter foster care. If at all possible, care for these children and become the parents and friends they need. Showing them love will give them the support system they need. Your act of kindness will extend far beyond the child you bring into your home.

  • Keep a diary

  • Your life experiences can become a source of information, comfort, understanding and knowledge to people in the future. Every birthday, my grandma writes me a letter and shares a moment from her diary when she was my age. I treasure those letters and find great comfort in them.

  • Write a letter

  • Words are powerful. Take a few minutes to write a nice letter to a friend or neighbor. You just might make their day. Also, don't be afraid to write letters to the newspapers or to political leaders. When you express your thoughts and feelings, incredible things can happen.

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  • Make a phone call

  • If you think about giving someone a call, do it. It is amazing how we often think about people in the exact moment they need us to call - but even if a call isn't needed, you still show that you love them. In a world so full of hate, a little bit of love can go a very long way.

  • Write a book

  • Think about the influence books have had on the world. Whether it's easier to tell a story through an imaginary character, or through your own personal story (like Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,") they all can have a powerful impact on society.

  • Donations

  • So many organizations are willing to do the work, all they need is funding. Find an organization you can get behind and donate. It is amazing how just a little money can go a very long way in helping someone in need.

  • Get an education

  • If you don't have a college education, or you want to learn more, get educated without leaving your couch. Take online classes and learn more - The more you know, the more you can empathize, and the more you empathize, the more you will understand the people around you. A good education can go a long way in changing the way you see the world and how the world sees you.

  • Make a video

  • Videos can quickly go viral. If you feel comfortable taking and posting videos then do it. Think about Asmaa Mahfouz who, according to the Washington Post, was a key organizer of the 18-day Egyptian revolution in 2011-12. Her video ended up influencing millions of people. When you have a cause, don't be afraid to use your voice.

  • Use social media

  • Sharing, tweeting, liking and commenting on social media can have a huge impact. Think of hashtags like #BlueandBlack or #WhiteandGold, and #PrayForParis. One post, one tweet, one video can change the world.

  • You can change the world, for better or worse. Be aware of the power you have to influence the world and use it for good.

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Stacie Simpson is a FamilyShare staff writer. She loves listening to, gathering and sharing stories and advice to help others improve their quality of life. She spends most of her free time with her husband, ballroom dancing, reading and writing.

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