Always take your colouring book with you

Archive: Jul 2009

Action 101: Make someone smile


I’m quite a smiley person. I think my Mr Happy pajamas reflect that. And I have Tigger ones and he makes me smile just as much. But the point of this action is not to make myself smile but someone else. Well that’s ewasy enough, I can just be my quirky self. I do some weird things – chomp quite loudly on my PomBears, do a ‘Joey-Jump’ halfway across the room so anyone downstairs would think the ceiling was about to cave in, walk down the street singing along to the Disney songs on my iPod.

The way I’m really enjoying making people smile at the moment though is by spending a couple of afternoons a week doing ‘playtime’ sessions at the Early Learning Centre. It’s great seeing the children look at all the different pens and crayons and stuff I’ve got out for them to use. And then they explode their creativity onto the paper I give them. And smile. Although one did have a tantrum when she left the other day. But her mother caused that not me. The sad truth is for a few of them, they don’t have the pens and the paper and other basic tools to do colouring in at home, which make that smile even more lovely. What makes i even more special is they’re all strangers. And they make me smile too. Like the Dad who suggested his son called his superhero ‘Sea Man’ because it would be funny.

You see 300 people a day, so that’s 300 smiles to give away. And it doesn’t need to be done through Joey-Jumps or Design a Superhero competitions. It just starts with you smiling, and just maybe that person will smile back. I know I would. Just don’t wear a Mr Happy grin all day long becuase I’ve tried it and it really does ache after a while.

Action 122: Don’t charge your phone overnight


I love my BlackBerry. I really do. all my phones beforehand were pretty rubbish. But this is brilliant – I get my emails and my Facebook updates and can listen to my Sister Act soundtrack all in my pocket. What I hate though is when it blinks green and orange at me – low battery. Urgh. If only it could run on solar energy, now then I’d love it even more.

Still it doesn’t take long to charge it up. Roughly 2 hours later and it’s ready to go. So I could easily charge it at my desk at work or when I’m getting ready in the mornings (which does take me quite a long time). What I don’t need to do is charge it overnight. Once it’s charged, if it’s still plugged in it’s wasted energy, wasted energy that doesn’t just fdrain the earth of its resources but drains your wallet of money as well. In fact it drains the nation’s wallet of £47 million a year.

So when your BlackBerry is blinking green and orange at you just before you go to bed, theres three options you could take

  1. Plug in immediately and watse money and energy while you snooze
  2. Plug in immediately but set your alarm for 2 hours time to unplug
  3. Put it on standby if you can or realise it will survive the night so you’ll just plug it in in the morning

I know which option I prefer.

Action 15: Register online as an organ donor


This is a super easy action, even easier than decling plastics bags. And it won’t just change the world and save the planet, it will save a life too. 90% of people support it but only 18% have actually signed up as an organ donor.

Well I can testify it really is really easy to do. Takes like 2 minutes. 2 minutes isn’t alot to potentially be a life saver. OK maybe 3 – 2 minutes to do the registraion online and an extra minute to tell your Mum and Dad about the wonderful thing you did, just so they know that if the day comes when they’re asked what you would have wanted, they know.

So why don’t you do it now. all you have to do is click here to visit the UK Transplant website and then you’re already halfway there. Also you get a nice litte letter in the post a week or so after, which is good anyway coz I always like getting post. And this is amazing post because you open it and and think “Oh yeah, thats the amazing thing I did a few days ago” and you give a little smile 🙂

1. Decline plastic bags whenever possible


This was a nice easy action to start my world changing ways with. In fact I almost didn’t buy something. But then I relaised this is me and I was on the High Street, I was bound to buy something. Except it wasn’t the birthday card that I really do need to buy for Monday. And my Sister Act soundtrack did arrive from today so really I didn’t need to buy anything. But I did. It’s a nice little book called Top 10 of Britain. And it was half price, that was the main selling point. And when I got to the till I said, ‘No, I don’t need a plastic bag, I don’t want to add another 1 to the 10 billion used every year in Britain’ although only the first bit (word) was out loud.

I have no need to ever get a new plastic bag ever again really. I have my ‘special’ bags from the musicals I’ve seen and from foreign visits. And then I have my big ole Disney Store reuseable bag, which really is good to use for my trips to the Disney Store, especially becuase they do charge 5p for plastic bags in there now. It’s great, you really can see the effort they’re making in reducing packaging. For me it’s just another reason to love the Disney Store 🙂

Anyway, if we all used one less bag a year, well that would be 60 million less plastic bags. I think I’d notice the difference. And thats 60 million x 500 years we don’t have to wait for them to decompose. And then one can become two, and two can become three and we can change the world! So I urge you to think, I’ll put a bag in my pocket before I go out. Or buy a reuseable bag. Even if it isn’t a fun Disney Store one.

Change the World


I got a bit emotional this week. Although I get emotinal most weeks. But I was emotional this week because it was my last day at work, and I was getting all reflective and thinking, what difference have I actually made, who will remember me yadda yadda – I didn’t want to leave Westcliff as if I had never been there. I know I don’t udnerstand life one bit but I know that it’s not about leaving everything exactly as it was once you’re gone.

The good thing is on my last day I realised I had made some difference, some positive difference. someone called me a role model and I was, I still am, so honoured by it. And then the more I think about it, the more I realise it’s not just an honour but it’s a responsilbity as well. If someone’s going to look up to me well then I should make sure they’ve got something good to look up to, which reminds me I really should shave soon. As in like now.

Anyway, I bought this book a few months ago, called Change the World for a Fiver, and it has 50 differet actions to do. Little actions we can all do to make the world a better place, to make us all something good to look up to. And although I’ve done a few of them (and the ones in the two sequels) there’s no way I’ve done all 130 in the series. So that’s what i’m going to do, one action a day = a lot of good 4 months down the line. And me tracking my progres son here = alot of people getting bored and thinking oh dear, why is Joe doing this, is anyone actually reading it. But also maybe I can inspire others to go and do little actions to change our world.

See I think the world is a pretty good place, it will only take little actions, little thoughts, little considerations to make it a brilliant place. Or, we could just turn it into Walt Disney Globe. But even I might get a bit bored of that. So we’ll stay with the original idea then. publish Change the World for a Fiver. Their website lists all 130 actions across their 3 books, and lets you sign up and keep track of your progress.