I hear a lot of people talking about how love is the answer and how if we just love one another, then the world would be a better place. Sure, that sounds delightful. In a perfect world, love would be enough. It would solve problems and social media wouldn’t be filled with complainers. But let’s be realistic, it takes a lot more than an emotion to blanket what ails society. It is a great start, but I have some ideas that might help facilitate an easier way of life.
First, use a turn signal. It is the universal sign for “In a few hundred feet, I am going to turn and I just thought you might want to know”, which always makes me feel grateful and appreciative that the person in front of me is being considerate.
Second, stop bitching. Life isn’t always fair and non-existent unicorns don’t poop rainbows. Suck it up. There will be setbacks. Find the gratitude in your life because there is a lot. In each difficult situation there are pockets of blessings. Be patient, but while you are waiting, don’t pollute the air with your toxicity.
Third, smile. Yes, smile. Smile at other people. (I do it just enough to be pleasant but not enough that someone wants to talk to me. I have boundaries.) Smiling makes other people smile and then they smile at others, well you get the gist. It can make someone’s day better.
Fourth, pay-it-forward. I am not just referring to paying for someone’s coffee at Starbucks, I am talking about returning your grocery cart instead of leaving it in the parking lot to create havoc with someone’s car or to make someone who makes minimum wage to retrieve it because you are simply lazy. I am referring to allowing someone to go in front of you at the grocery store who has less than twelve items to your five hundred. I am talking about putting other people before your own needs.
Lastly, don’t be an asshole. Sounds simple enough, but we are a reactive society. Someone cuts us off in traffic, we respond by flipping the bird. Someone doesn’t say “thank you” when we do something kind, we respond by getting angry. Take a breath. Count to 10. Move on with your day.
Love is a delightful foundation to build upon. Add some respect and tolerance blended with a sprinkle of unselfishness, and it can be the perfect recipe for a civilized society. Do things for fun and for free. We are all perfectly imperfect, but even the smallest humanitarian effort can result in big changes.