New glasses help us see better. The murkiness clears up; we view what’s in front of us differently. Just like less-than-perfect vision, we often have myopic world views; limiting us from seeing outside our personal reality. We don’t always “see” how we behave, which may lead to behavior that’s inconsiderate.
Nice is underrated; I genuinely believe that. Our world could use a little more civility, care, and concern. Here are fifty ways we can, individually and collectively, attempt to create a “kinder, gentler world” by seeing day-to-day life differently. Many of these are what I’d consider common sense, but too often see dismissed.
- turn off the TV when you have company unless watching a show is why they’re visiting
- if you try something on in a store and get makeup or deodorant on it, take it to a salesperson instead of putting it back on the rack
- hold the door for the person behind you, regardless of their age, gender, or ability
- respect the folks who drive tractor-trailers; many people complain about these large vehicles but have no problem buying the goods that end up in the stores
- if you’re behind a parent, pushing a stroller, and the child drops something, pick it up and give it back even if that means sprinting through the mall; it may be that child’s favorite toy
- if you have to/want to turn down an invitation don’t make up a story; “I’m sorry I can’t make it” is perfectly acceptable
- on an airplane stay within your allotted space—no arms on the armrests on either side of the center seat (think about the person in the middle), no legs in the area of another person’s seat, and no speaking over someone sitting between you and your friend
- don’t throw cigarette butts out the window—the excuse, “they burn away” isn’t valid; I’ve seen piles of them on streets
- don’t cut it line—the people behind you matter too
- think before you speak—what you verbally put out to the universe, can’t be retrieved; unkind words kill the spirit
- when sending holiday cards, if you don’t have time to write a short note, at least sign your name—cards with pre-printed addresses and signatures don’t feel at all personal
- love the one you’re with—if that’s not possible, rethink that big part of your life
- when you think something nice, say it; even if it’s outside your “comfort zone”
- if you see someone with a shirt inside out, something stuck in his or her teeth, do them a favor and discreetly point it out
- walk your visitors to their car when they leave your home
- don’t ask personal questions of strangers like, “obviously you’re not the birth parent, where did you adopt your child from?”—love, not biology, determines parenthood
- don’t ask non-strangers questions that are none of your business; for example, “when are you going to get married?” —if they wanted you to know, they’d share it
- don’t stare at people who look different from you
- if you break something in a friend’s home, replace it
- RSVP means “please respond”—have the courtesy to respond “yes” or “no” by the deadline
- ignore your phone when you’re with someone unless you’re expecting a critical phone call—talk to the person you’re with, rather than worrying about what you may be missing
- when you’re at a restaurant, be polite enough to stop your conversation for the server to take your order—I’ve never worked in the food industry but sure appreciate how tough that job must be
- don’t ever make fun of other people
- if you’re visiting someone in a hospital or care setting, show appreciation for the nurses and aides who are lifting, cleaning, feeding and often, saving, lives
- use the name of the person you’re speaking to—it’s validating
- if you take something off a rack or display in a store, put it back—a sense of entitlement is not cool
- when you see people, taking turns snapping each other’s pictures, offer to take one of them together
- don’t blow your horn just because you can—use it only when it’s necessary
- if you’re tall enough, help someone get something off a high grocery store shelf
- say “I love you” if you feel that way—you never know when you’ll see someone you love for the last time
- listen when someone’s talking to you—what you have to say may seem more important, but chances are good he or she feels the same way
- when you see someone wearing a uniform that indicates he/she’s serving our country, thank him or her
- let someone in front of you in a grocery store line if they only have a few items and you have a full cart
- apologize when: you say something you didn’t mean, something you meant but then realized it was hurtful, and when you do something that you regret
- don’t spit on the ground or out of your car window—what if everyone did the same thing?
- when you go to someone’s home for anything other than a “potluck”—where everyone brings food to share—bring a small, thoughtful gift that says, “thank you for inviting me.”
- wave to the person who lets you in, when you’re stuck in a line of traffic
- if you splash water all over a public restroom sink, get a paper towel and wipe it off
- compliment freely: loved ones, someone with a great smile, children who have beautiful manners—those kind words just may change someone’s day
- send a hand-written note to show appreciation
- if you walk a dog, other than on your property, make sure to clean up any messes
- say “thank you” to people who work for you, hold the door for you, deliver your mail—you get the point
- in a group of people don’t monopolize the conversation—you’re interesting and witty, but others are too
- if you have children who play sports, thank the volunteer coaches
- when there’s a death in the family of someone you know, reach out and ask what’s needed—chances are good that another casserole would be more appreciated in a few weeks later when there are fewer visitors
- make the accumulation of experiences and memories more important than the accumulation of things
- share; whether that’s your time, energy or money—even an hour or $10 makes a difference
- send a card to someone you know, for no reason other than to brighten the day
- appreciate what you have and who you are—thank God for everyone who adds joy to your life
- if you think something nice, say it….oh yeah, I said that in number 13, but we could all hear that one more than once!
It may be tough to change some behaviors, but “the little things,” taken in manageable steps, do make a difference. Think about the golden rule—”do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If we all see through “different” glasses, we just might create a kinder, gentler world.
©peace full home.com®/intentional living, 2013-2020.
Kay, I want to post this to facebook–do you know how I do that? L
I just posted it on my Kay McLane Facebook page, so I’m pretty sure that you can “see” it there and then repost it.
Great reminders for all of us–thank you, Kay.
Thank you Jill
Words of wisdom…thank you, Kay.