Written by Pippa Evans

Voices

How to feel like a hero (when you don’t feel like a hero)

Think saving the world is too big a job for one woman? Think again. Source of joy and inspiration Pippa Evans has some tips to fix things one kiss at a time.

Illustration by Louise Boulter.

Illustration by Louise Boulter.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find the world a bit overwhelming. For all of the wonder of being alive (flowers, oxygen, Toblerone), there are some big-ass questions which are hard to answer. How can I stop global warming? What can I do to make the world a better place? Will I ever look good in a playsuit?

The world’s a mess, but we can fix it one kiss at a time. Here are 10 simple ways to save a tiny bit of the world.

1. Give blood

It takes about 30 minutes from entering the building to leaving, you get free biscuits and they are really nice to you. What’s not to like? I was put off doing this for years by a horrific story my mother told me (which must NEVER BE REPEATED).

But as someone who is not a big fan of needles (who is? I mean, even drug addicts must be hoping for heroin in suppository form soon), it was a tiny prick and then away we go.

Women can give blood once every four months, men once every three. Even if you just did that for the next 30 years that would be 90/120 pints of blood. You will have saved lives while chomping on a digestive. Register here to find your local bank.

2. Help someone else’s dream come true

Be the last supporter on a Kickstarter campaign; find projects that need a final £10 and you will have made someone’s day! I’ve run a couple of these campaigns and when a complete stranger helps you, rather than a friend or your poor old mum, it really makes you feel like the world is an OK kinda place.

3. Big Issue!

Buy the Big Issue from your local vendor. Or any vendor. You’ll be helping homeless people AND have something to read when your friend texts you that the traffic is “real bad, soz”. At £2.50, it’s the price of a latte but will make you feel better than 145 hot beverages topped with champagne.

“Change the toilet paper and put a back-up roll on the side. Your flatmate will thank you! And so will you, when you don’t have to do the pant-waddle-of-shame.”

4. Say good morning to people in the street

This might sound crazy, but it really makes a massive difference. It reminds you that you are a human and that interacting with people is a basic joy. Loneliness is a rising problem in the UK – click here for infographics. Sometimes all you need is a smile to not feel like you’re all alone in this world.

You’ll also feel like you’re in an episode of Last of the Summer Wine. This is never a bad thing.

5. Clean up

How many times have you got annoyed at dropped litter? Pick it up, baby! Even if it isn’t yours. What? But what if I catch an STI? Unless someone has been having sex with a packet of digestives, you’ll probably be OK.

You’ll have made the world a little bit cleaner and if it’s clean, maybe people will start to notice it’s clean and stop making it dirty. Gather muck in your local park, in front of your house or on the bus. Who knows, you may find a lost manuscript among the empty cans of Skol.

6. Random kindness

Give cake, compliments, cards or even cash. When was the last time you Sellotaped a pound to a birthday card? Why not try some of the many tactics of Bernadette Russell who continues to change the world by just being kind.

7. New rolls

Change the toilet paper and put a back-up roll on the side. Your flatmate will thank you! And so will you, when you don’t have to do the pant-waddle-of-shame.

“Loneliness is a rising problem in the UK; sometimes all you need is a smile to not feel like you’re all alone in this world.”

8. Donate to charity collectors

You know those people dressed as superheroes at your train station? Or the old people with shaky cans? Give them something. 10p. Anything you can find.

Have you ever done this job? It’s actually really hard! You can help a charity and make those volunteers feel like it was worth them putting on that manky old chicken suit.

9. Give your stuff away

Go on StreetBank and sign up to help someone local. You can give away stuff to people that need it, help someone with something or even take stuff off them that they want to get rid of. Everyone wins! And you meet your neighbours. *sings* Neighbours… everybody needs good neighbours…

10. If all else fails…

Wear your pants over some tights. You will literally feel like a superhero. Or a wally. But at least you’ll be laughing. And laughter is the best medicine of all. Unless you have a serious illness, in which case, please do seek professional help.

Pippa is in Showstopper! at the Apollo Theatre, London, from 24 September to 29 November. Click here for ticket info.

@IAmPippaEvans

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Written by Pippa Evans

Pippa Evans is a comedian, improviser and the co-founder of Sunday Assembly. She lives in London.