The world is huge, beautiful, confusing place, and we are just wee little specs in it. But, I’ve always been an optimist, and therefore think there are few super easy things we can do, that will make it better.
The basic principle. Be nice.
Really that’s it. For some reason people are on a mean streak lately. So, let’s all try and be nice for a little, ok? Because as REM so eloquently said, everybody hurts…sometime…which in my world means, you really should be nice to everybody.
Queue vent session…
1: Please Smile and Say Hi.
The other Saturday, I just finished paddling and got out of the water. It was a gorgeous day, and I was happy. I smiled and said hi to the first person I passed. They looked away and gave me the I just smelled a fart face look. I thought, ok, maybe they didn’t hear me. Second person I passed…same thing. I looked down to make sure my nipple wasn’t falling out or something. Nope, all covered. Third person. No response, no smile, and they looked through me like I was a cloud of gas or something. My happy post paddling buzz had faded into a, wow is something wrong with me, why don’t people like me…downer. It wasn’t a crowded street and I wasn’t saying hi to a million people like some crazy parrot or something. It was like a two people are on a sidewalk and you pass type of scenario.
So, if someone makes the effort to be courteous… smile back, even say hi if you dare. And go ahead and be there person who smiles and says hi when you pass people too. I dare ya. A little common courtesy really catches people off guard, in a good way.
2: Enough with the negative comments;
A general social media commenting rule: If you wouldn’t say your comment to the person’s face, don’t write it. People have grown some serious balls in the world of commenting. If you are a person who would actually say all of this mean stuff to a person’s face, well… I am scared of you. Actually, maybe you were one of the people I walked by after paddling the other day.
If you want to make a negative comment, take a deep breath, walk away for a minute, then delete it and move on. There’s enough negativity in this world. Criticizing someone’s body, outfit, grammar, or oddly shaped feet really isn’t helping out. If it makes you feel better to be negative and make someone feel bad, well…you need a hug.
3: Get off your darn phone and interact.
When you are checking out, placing an order, at the bank, or engaging in some sort of communicative transaction. Put down your darn phone. This way you can treat the person who is helping you like an actual human being. You can make eye contact, smile and say hello, ask them how they are doing, let them know you appreciate them helping you, and show them common courtesy. If whatever you are doing on your phone is too important, finish whatever it is you are doing, like whatever pic you were checking out on Instagram, then proceed to interact with a human being instead of staring at your screen.
*I learned this from my mom. I swear she knows people’s life stories by the time she’s checked out at the grocery store. I love that about her. And have heard some great stories. The mother of five refugee is the gold star winner thus far. She helped my Mom and I pick out fabric for my patio at the fabric department in Wal Mart.
4: Feel free to dish out random genuine compliments.
The other day, I was in an elevator and a lady looked at me and asked if I was from somewhere warm. I told her I just moved from Hawaii, and she proceeded to tell me I looked tan, happy and healthy. I wanted to jump across the elevator and give her a hug. That day I was feeling anything but tan, happy and healthy. And her words really perked me up. That’s just an example. Never underestimate the power of a genuine compliment. They rock.
And to the lady in the elevator, whoever you are, thank you.
There you go.
Be nice. Treat others that way you’d want to be treated. And I like to think we can at least make someone’s world a better place, even for a second or two.