Volunteer to Make a Difference
nelson mendela

Volunteer to Make a Difference

"One person can make a difference. In fact, it's not only possible for one person to make a difference, it's essential that one person makes a difference. And believe it or not, that person is you." Bob Riley.

The United Nations observes International Volunteer Day on December 5, 2013. It is the time for us to think about volunteerism and nonprofits to make a difference to the world. There are many people who are born and dead everyday but we remember great leaders like Florence Nightingale, Frances Hesselbein, and Mother Teresa to name a few who made a significant difference to the world through their valuable contributions and sacrifices.


Florence Nightingale, the Lady with the Lamp served the wounded soldiers in the war and brought great respect to nursing profession. Despite being born rich, she contributed her best and served people and lived like a legend beyond her times. She was a very cool and calm leader, with a pleasant disposition, which helped patients to forget their sufferings and pain. She made a huge difference to the lives of the wounded and sick soldiers. More than a century ago, she proved that women were not the "weaker sex" and that they were capable of great acts. She became a nurse despite stiff opposition from her parents. In those days, nurses were not treated with respect. It was believed that drunkards and people with little merit joined the profession as a last resort, when they had no other means to earn their livelihood. If the nursing profession is respected today, it is due to her dedicated services.

Frances Hesselbein was the CEO of Girl Scouts of USA, the largest organization of girls and women in the world, from 1976-1990. Besides being an outstanding leader of non-profit organizations, she has a continued commitment to develop leaders of all ages. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States of America's highest civilian honor, in 1998. She is the President and CEO of The Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute. She has received many honors for her contributions to Girl Scouts and leadership, such as USA's Lifetime Achievement Award and the International Leadership Association's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. She is the recipient of over 20 honorary degrees, and her work on leadership and management is respected globally. She is a remarkable leader who made a difference to the lives of others through her contributions. She is a gracious woman leader, a servant leader, and a thought leader. Her actions will inspire all of us to work and contribute without looking for rewards.

Mother Teresa, who was the mother of compassion, is another leader who made a significant difference to the world. She served the poor, sick and orphaned for four and a half decades in India. She dedicated her entire life towards society. All these leaders stand out from others because of their valuable contribution to the society. They never lived for themselves, they always lived for others.


Gift Your 'Time'

You can contribute your best by helping people when they need your care and attention. It may not be in terms of money. It can be through various means and ways. The biggest gift you can give to others is 'Time'. Hence, invest your time to the needy and hungry. Make them special to bring smiles in their faces. In fact, that is the need of the hour to the global society. Remember, what goes around comes around. If you give your best you get the best. Hence, invest a part of your precious time to uplift the people around you to make a difference in their lives.


My Passion and Vision

"Lives of great men all remind us. We can make our lives sublime, and, departing, leave behind us footprints on the sands of time." Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

In my personal life, I spend a reasonable amount of time to accomplish my lifetime ambition to build one million students as global leaders to provide meaning to my life. During my teaching and training programs, there are students who follow my ideals and ideas, and seek my career guidance and counseling. Whenever I find students with a positive and right attitude and passion for learning, I invite them for discussion, clarify their queries about career and life, and provide leadership training programs to inspire them. In some cases, I include their names in the dedication list of my upcoming leadership books to make them special and inspire them to be great achievers.

I have tentatively created a blueprint to build global leaders through 5 levels. In the first level, I invite students who are interested in my passion and vision for discussion and counsel them. I share with them my passion and vision to build one million students as global leaders. If I am satisfied, I include their names in the dedication list. I will look for their contribution towards my cause and their commitment apart from their performance. If I find that they contribute to society through nonprofits and Non-Government Organizations (NGO), I will promote them to the second level. In the third level, I provide them free leadership training programs depending on mutual availability and time. If I am satisfied, I will elevate them to the fourth level where I intend to feature their interviews with photos in my authored book outlining their aspirations and expectations; and principles and philosophies. At the fifth level, I will take 50 best brains who contribute with a heart to serve society and introduce them into my international connections to enable them to grow as global leaders. At the fifth level, all the 50 students must take a pledge to build 50 more students as global leaders during their lifetime without any consultation fee. In this way, I want to make a difference to the world as a volunteer.

Society is a collection of individuals. When all individuals think collectively to contribute to others, they can make a difference. Margaret Mead rightly remarked, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Hence, you can make a difference in the lives of others as an individual by leading from the front. Be a giver and always contribute something to others with a big heart. Your contribution helps the society prosper, and you stand out as a legend thus providing meaning to your life.


Make a Difference

Many people want to make a difference in the lives of others, but don't know where to start. Here are some small things you can do to start with.

Compliment people by highlighting their earnest efforts. It boosts their self-esteem and self-confidence. Don't indulge in artificial praise or else you will lose your credibility. Your compliment should be objective, specific, and should be given as soon as you notice the positive behavior.

Gift something to others such as stationery, flowers, books, chocolates or other small things. It makes them special. They will develop a positive attitude towards others.

Have patience, care and respect for others. Give something back to society either through money or through your services.

And, above all, develop an attitude of gratitude towards the good others do to you.

In today's world, most people are caught up in the "I, me, myself" syndrome and "What's-in-it-for-me?" mindset, despite the fact that giving has been deeply ingrained in our socio-cultural psyche. Hence, it is essential to work hard to cultivate the attitude of giving something to society. Whether other people acknowledge your efforts or not, you must deliver your best as an individual. Just as many small drops make a mighty ocean, many small efforts can make a major difference to the society and to the world.

If leaders had not sacrificed in the past, our world would have been worse off than what it is now. If we want our future generations to live in a better world, then we must contribute our best to the welfare of society, without expecting anything in return. We must believe that making a difference is an investment for the benefit of our future generations. Hence, on the eve of 'International Volunteer Day', let us take a pledge to contribute our best to make a difference to the world.

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead." Nelson Mandela.

Prof. M.S. Rao
International Leadership Guru

Copyright © 2013 • UN Post • All Rights Reserved

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Anybody can cut prices, but it takes brains to produce a better article.This is another excellent article of you sir!


Priyanka Madari

Excellent article on making a difference to the world. Professor M. S. Rao himself helps many students in India and makes a difference in the lives of others. Students are very much excited about his passion and vision to build one million students as global leaders. Here is my endorsement about him:

The students can correct their mistakes during Professor M.S.Rao's training programs. He keeps students  comfortable. Students are excited to learn more from him without any fear. He shares lots of examples and that helps students understand well and apply in their real lives. That makes this international leadership legend stand out from others. We students want him to be the President of India one day like Abdul Kalam.


Excellent article to make a better world. Kudos to Professor Rao. I am his die-hard fan. I want him to occupy India's highest office of Presidency. 

Vinay Kumar

Excellent article to make a difference in the lives of others. I am die hard follower of Professor M.S.Rao. Looking forward to more such inspiring articles in future. 

Kirti Kumari

It is true that the biggest gift one can give to others is 'Time'. All people in the world are gifted with 'Time' whether they are poor or rich. Hence, we can make use of our time to invest for the development of others and betterment of society.

The article is highly interesting with utopian values. I appreciate Professor M.S.Rao's vision with an action plan to build global leaders. It is possible for others also to contribute their best in their own way either thorugh money or through non-monetary means to make a difference to the society.

I know Professor Rao personally who spends his time mostly for students to inspire them. He gifts books and chacolates to students within his own capacity as he is very passionate about youth and students. He truly makes the people around him special.

I am confident that Professor Rao will make things happen through his visionary and passionate leadership to buld one million global leaders.

I request Professor Rao to lead Indian society to clean the corrupt society by mobilising Indian youth. He must also chair nonprofit organisations constantly to bring out the positive change. I want him to occupy India's highest office of Presidency one day. 

I wish him all the best !


A very inspiring and thought provoking article with illustrations of women leaders who made a difference to the world.

I appreciate Professor Rao's enthusiasm to contribute an amazing article concluding with the quote of Nelson Mandela who made a difference to the world. The article is timely. India needs inspiring leaders like Professor Rao who is very passionate to share his knowledge and who makes all students special by gifting books, chacolates and above all, precious knowledge. The world rarely finds leadership gurus like Prof. Rao.

Kudos to Professor Rao who is a living leadership legend.


Excellent article with viable and feasible vision to build one million global leaders. Professor Rao rightly said that anybody can make the difference to the society. All we need is the passion to serve others with an altruistic attitude and mindset. He set the ball rolling. Now it is the time for all Indians to join with him to accomplish his goal to make a difference.

I am proud follower of Professor M.S.Rao who was born to serve the humankind.


The article is highly inspiring commemorating International Volunteer Day!

International Leadership Guru, Professor M.S.Rao emphasized on right aspects to contribute to others without expecting anything from others. We should not look at whether others are contributing to the society or not. We must contribute to others by setting the trend and example to others the way Professor M.S.Rao does. We must emulate this great trait from him. Professor M.S.Rao is not only preaching but also practicing. He is grooming me as a global leader. I will share these points with my friends so that they can also start contributing to make a difference to the society. I will mobilize more followers for Professor M.S.Rao to make a better India and better world.

I am one of his die-hard followers. He has included my name in the dedication list of his upcoming book. He inspired me a lot. He is a great leader as he is gifting his time to students to groom them as global leaders. I want him to lead India by becoming President of India.