Five ways to develop a socially conscious mind in your child – By Jos Dirkx

Being socially conscious can mean many different things to many different people – we can all give in the ways we find most valuable. It can mean that as a collective, we become aware of something that is affecting society at large. Equally, it can refer to one person becoming aware of a social issue they care about and that they are passionate about. As you are reading this, you might be able to identify something you think is really important from a socially conscious perspective. One of the most important takeaways to keep in mind when it comes to becoming more socially conscious, is to start small and build on things that feel right to you. Creating change for yourself, at home, in your community, or in the world can start with a small step. As long as we take that small step, we are well on our way to bringing the change we want to see.

Take a look at the five ways below that can help inspire socially conscious thinking:

One: Ask the right question. When you start thinking about what could be the most important way for you to bring the change you believe the world needs to see, start with what drives you. Do you want to make the lives of neglected animals better? Do you believe in brightening the day of an elderly person? Are you motivated to bring change in your community through activism? Whatever it is that inspires you, is a great step in the right direction to being more socially conscious. Ask yourself the right questions and understand what fuels you!

Two: Take the step that feels right to you. Sometimes taking a massive step feels right, other times, it is more important to take a small step to build the confidence required to make the change you want to see. It’s all good! Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself! The most important thing you can do is act with authenticity and integrity, acting from what you feel is right in your core.

Three: Join forces! Once you have identified something that feels important to you, something that inspires you to change the world, you might find others on a similar path. That’s fantastic! It can be absolutely amazing to work with a team of like-minded people that are on the same path you are. Don’t be afraid to go out and make new friends that want to see the same change you do.

Four: Take time to step back. Just like there are two sides to a coin, there can be two sides to social good issues, too. Let’s take a deeper look at what this means. Every change we make – regardless of how we identify this change and what kind of value we add to it – might be seen as the opposite to someone else. For example, many of us want to stop using plastic bags, but that doesn’t necessarily mean plastic is bad. Plastic has also been used to make strong ropes and can be used in hospitals, for example. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue your personal mission, it just means that you should and can allow space for others to have different opinions to yours!

Five: Be kind. Your journey to building a more socially conscious mind might be challenged. Some days feel better than others and while you’re exploring the right steps to take to build the change you want to see, you might come across people that aren’t on board with your journey. And, that’s okay. The most important thing you can do is to continue to be kind. Not just to other people, but also to yourself. Most of us are looking for something to contribute to, some greater form of value to bring to the world. As long as you keep giving yourself permission to do so, you will give others the same permission.

Jos Dirkx is the author of new illustrated children’s book Girls Do Good: A Colourful Guide to Changing the World with Stories of Real-life Superheroes, available now on Amazon.co.uk. Find out more at www.girlsdogood.co

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