2022/02/24 Making a Difference

‘Making a Difference’

Davis Richardson

(photo credit: pixabay)

    Reading the news these days can sometimes feel like a never-ending litany of tragedies—from global warming to homelessness, from addiction to violence, it’s easy to feel pessimistic about the world we live in. Luckily there are quite a few good-hearted people out there who dedicate both their money and, often more importantly, their time, to alleviating these global problems. These people are called philanthropists, perhaps better known as volunteers. They do not expect to earn money for the work they do; rather, they donate their time, resources, and expertise because they believe in making a positive difference. 

    You don’t have to travel far to start changing the world around you. Volunteering can start in your own community, even as close as the local park in your neighborhood. Picking up trash in parks, on beaches, and even from city sidewalks is a great way to get started. You can also volunteer at a local hospital, homeless shelter, or retirement home. If you have a special skill, such as a talent for the arts or sports, there may be even more options for you to help out in your community.

    For those seeking adventure, volunteering can also present opportunities for travel, both domestically and internationally. In the United States, you can join the Peace Corps, the world’s largest volunteer organization, which sends qualified workers to live in developing countries for a period of 2 years. Similarly, Japan sends about 1,000 volunteers abroad every year through the Japan Overseas Cooperation program. In Taiwan, the International Cooperation and Development Fund also sponsors numerous projects around the world.

    Don’t feel limited to government-run programs, though—a quick Internet search can give you information about how to join volunteer projects relating to your own personal interests. The benefits of volunteering are incalculable, so why not consider getting started? Remember—your time is often the greatest gift you can give.

10 Words to Learn



(英) a long list of unpleasant things, especially things that are repeated.
(日) 長々とした話
(中) 連禱文,總禱文
"The manufacturers are reported to have received a litany of complaints from dissatisfied customers.”

addiction (n.) 

(英) an inability to stop doing or using something, especially something harmful
(日) 依存、中毒
(中) 沉溺、上癮
"Experts fear the game could lead to gambling addiction."

pessimistic (adj.) 

(英) thinking that bad things are more likely to happen or emphasizing the bad part of a situation
(日) 悲観的な
(中) 悲觀的
"Don’t be so pessimistic! Let’s hope for the best."

alleviating (alleviate) (v.) 

(英) to make something bad such as pain or problem 
(日) 軽くする、緩和する
(中)  減輕;緩和,緩解
"The medicine did nothing to alleviate her discomfort."

philanthropists (n.) 

(英) a person who helps the poor and those in need, especially by giving them money 
(日) 博愛主義者
(中) 慈善家
"She is a philanthropist who has supported many charities for twenty years."

expertise (n.) 

(英) a high level of knowledge or skill  
(日) 専門技術
(中) 專門技能(知識);專長
"I admired the expertise with which he prepared the meal."

talent (n.) 

(英) a natural ability to be good at something, especially without being taught
(日) 才能
(中) 天分,天賦
"Her talent for music showed at an early age."

numerous (adj.) 

(英) many, existing in large numbers
(日) 多数の
(中) 許多的,大量的
"I tried numerous times to talk to Chris."

limited (to) (adj.)

(英) kept within a particular size, range, time etc.
(日) 限られた
(中) 有限的
"The problem of stress is certainly not limited to people who work.”

incalculable (adj.)

(英) extremely large and therefore unable to be measured 
(日) 無数の、莫大な
(中) 不可估量的,極大的
"The oil spill has caused incalculable damage to the environment.”