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You can change the world

Fat Mum Slim /


When I was younger, in my 20s, I used to make a promise to the Universe. It went something like this, “If you look after me, I’ll do really good things in the future. When I’m not poor, have more time, or something more to offer… I’ll do loads for charity. I promise.”

I’m not sure what I wanted in return, maybe a good hair day or for the radio to play my favourite song. Hopefully I wasn’t that fickle.

I always thought that people who helped out with charities, and changed the world, were rich, or retired, or really talented at something. I thought that’s how it worked.

I also thought the only way to change the world was by helping out with charities. I thought that was the way to do it.

Then I grew up.

I was sitting in a room full of people. It was night, but the curtains were all closed, and every light in the room was off. No one had their phones on, so there was no glimmer from screens as people scrolled through their Facebook feed. It was pitch dark, and silent. There were over 100 people crammed on the floor of the room, but no one made a sound. A man at the front of the room started to talk about love and kindness.

Love and kindness is similar to light to me. When I do something for someone, I see light in their face. Almost every time, I see a glimmer of joy in their eyes, and a little bit of hope too. Like, “You’d do that for me? Thank you.” It’s like light.

Back in that room, each person was given an unlit candle. We sat there in the darkness, listening to words about love and kindness. The man lit his candle. It represented exactly what he spoke of, love and kindness. Slowly, the man lit the candle of a person in front of him, and then they turned around and lit the candle of the person next to them. I could see faces glowing in the otherwise dark space. The light reached the person in front of me, then my candle was lit, and I passed on my light to the people around me. Before long, the whole room was filled with candles alight. Sure it was probably an epic fire hazard, but it was also really beautiful.

That one man had given love and kindness to one person, and it spread to each person in that room. Best of all, I learned our love and kindness isn’t limited. When we give it to others, we don’t take it away from ourselves.

But even better than that, one act of love and kindness can light up a whole room. It can spread from one person, and then onto another, and then another. It’s contagious.

So we don’t have to change the world with grand gestures, or by throwing money at the problem, we simply have to live everyday, and give everyday. {But also, it’s great if we can, when we can}.

We can change the world. Perhaps, we already are.

  • This is beautiful, Chantelle. And so true! Thank you for the reminder and inspiration.

  • Such a beautiful read. Just what I needed on my morning commute xx

  • Beautiful + true. I experienced a moment of exchanged kindness just before, walking home from the doctor. Made my day so much brighter and I hope it made hers too. x

  • Love, love this. Kindness is so powerful, it can make the most enormous difference in the world and to individuals, it’s baffling why more people aren’t kinder, when you think about it. We love to receive kindness but being kind to others feels even better. Do you know John Sweeney who set up Suspended Coffees? He’s a kindness coach doing great work.

  • This sounds incredible – I need to get me some of this dark room candle litness!What a beautiful joy to experience that. It only takes one small moment of kindness doesn’t it! x

  • Jenni from styling curvy

    From little things big things grow❤️ Love ya x

  • What a lovely message Chantelle 🙂 And you definitely are changing the world in your own little way by writing these beautiful posts for the rest of the world to read <3 xx

  • Meg Bayliss

    How funny that you wrote this. I just found a book at the library about secret postcards and whilst that’s empowerment through telling your secrets anonymously there are parallels with happy mail and how happy mail could have a worldwide positive outcome.

  • Beautiful words Chantelle. Food for thought in all the right ways.

  • Claudia

    This morning, chantelle, you light my candle. Thanks a lot

  • Maadz

    Hi Chantelle, this will be my second comment on your beautiful blog. Just wanted to say, I also love LOVE this post. It’s similar to the ‘loving kindness’ concept in Buddhism. Thank you for sharing, we need more of this in the world. xx