It’s often easy to get so caught up in our realities that we don’t stop to look at the world through another’s eyes. And, when we don’t take the time to see outside our own little universe, our narrow perspective can lead to behavior that can be anything from inconsiderate to downright mean.
Yesterday, I offered up the first 25 ways to create a kinder world in “The Kindness Challenge”. Today we’ll look at the other 25.
26. if you see someone with a shirt inside out or something stuck in his or her teeth, do them a favor and discreetly point it out (you’d want someone to do the same)
27. don’t stare at people who look different from you
28. if you take something off a rack or display in a store, put it back (I saw a woman lay out all kinds of small rugs on the floor in a store so that she could look at them; she left without putting any of them back; a sense of entitlement is not cool)
29. don’t cut in line; the people behind you matter too
30. if you send holiday cards, personally sign at least your name (when I receive a card that has not only my pre-printed address on the front but also a pre-printed signature like “Merry Christmas, from Rita and Paul” it doesn’t feel very personal.
31. snail mail a card to someone you know, for no reason other than to brighten the day
32. if you’re walking behind a parent, with a little one in 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 a favorite toy or a shoe that just cost a lot of money)
33. make the accumulation of experiences and memories more important than the accumulation of “things”
34. when you’re in a restaurant, be polite enough to stop your conversation for a few moments for the server to take your order (I’ve never worked in the food industry but sure appreciate how tough that job must be)
35. walk visitors to their car when they leave your home
36. on an airplane stay within your allotted space. that means no talking over someone sitting between you and a friend, no legs in the area of another person’s seat and no arms on the armrests on either side of the center seat (what’s the poor person in the middle supposed to do?)
37. don’t spit on the ground or out of your car window; yeah I know that you just have to get whatever it is out of your mouth right now, but can you imagine if everyone did the same thing?
38. share—whether that’s your time and energy or your money (even an hour or $10 can make a difference)
39. 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
40. think before you open your mouth; what you verbally put out to the universe, you can’t retrieve; unkind words hurt and can’t be taken back
41. don’t throw cigarette butts out the window (I don’t buy the excuse that “they burn away once I toss them out the window” because I’ve seen piles of cigarette butts—what if everyone threw out little bits of paper?)
42. listen when someone’s talking to you; you may think that what you have to say is more important, but chances are good they feel the same way
43. if you have a dog and walk him/her somewhere other than on your property, make sure to clean up any messes
44. when you see a group of people taking turns snapping each other’s pictures, offer to take one of them together
45. ignore your phone when you’re with someone unless you’re expecting a very important phone call; talk to the person you’re with, rather than constantly worrying about what you may be missing
46. don’t blow your horn just because you can; use it only when it’s really necessary
47. compliment freely (a friend, a family member, someone who has an awesome smile, children who have beautiful dining out manners; those kind words just may change that person’s day)
48. say “I love you” if you feel that way; you never know when you’ll see someone you love for the last time
49. appreciate what you have and who you are; thank God for anyone who adds joy to your life
50. when you think something nice, say it (that was number 1 yesterday, but we could all hear that one more than once)
So….where do you land in the kindness challenge? How many of yesterday’s and today’s ideas are automatic for you? How many have you never considered? What would you add to the list? Share your ideas; I’d love to hear from you!
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