Every second of every day, we are all changing the world, for better or for worse. Some of you may scoff and think, Bullspiittt. Like what I’m doing right now has any effect on everything else.
But you’re wrong. It does. All of our tiny thoughts, words, and actions add up to the whole. You are a significant puzzle piece, and how you live your life echoes for eternity.
For me, this is such an inspiration. It’s uplifting to consider that I have the power to make this world a warmer, groovier place for all of my fellow homosapiens (and other lifeforms) every time I hop out of bed.
And you do too. You don’t have to be Mother Theresa, either. Mostly, just don’t be an asshole. Beyond that, practice some of these positive moves to make a real impact.
1. Be sincerely grateful.
Appreciate the good stuff in your own life. Hell yes, I’m one lucky dude(tte)! But beyond that, show appreciation for others.
If someone is kind to you, look that cat squarely in the eye, say “Wow, thank-you!”, and mean it. People sense real gratitude. It shines, and it brightens folks’ days.
2. Practice common courtesy.
Offer a “bless you” or my personal favorite “gazuntight!” when someone sneezes. Hold doors open. Say “please” and “you’re welcome” and “excuse me.”
You know, the little things we’ve been taught for decades. They actually matter. Do it for your mother.
3. Smile at a stranger.
That’s right. A complete, never-seen-you-before-in-my-life, stranger. Flash them a toothy grin, and throw a nod in there for good measure.
The worst that can happen is they’ll quickly look away or scowl, and you go on about their day. The best outcome is that they were about to kill themselves, and your random display of affection saved their life. Seriously.
4. Show positivity.
Just do your darnedest to stay optimistic. I’ve personally been blown away by how much just trying to stay positive brightens my mood. And your splash of positivity has a ripple effect.
Positivity is contagious. It bubbles over and startles those around you with its goodness.
Maybe it’s something simple like a pencil or a piece of paper. Maybe it’s 10 minutes of your time to listen to a friend. Generosity is lacking in our greedy, self-centered species.
Don’t brown nose, suck up, or butter bread because you want something in return. But, if you are truly impressed with someone else’s work or actions, then tell them, by golly! A little recognition picks us up and reminds us of our worth.
Sacrifice some of your time to help a good cause. Soup kitchens, animal shelters, non-profits, and so many others need us so much more than we need to spend another 2 hours in front of a computer screen chainsawing zombies.
8. Rise up against wrongdoing.
Joe makes a discriminatory remark. Ask him to stop perpetuating harmful stereotypes.
Sarah is talking badly about her supposed friends. Let her know she’s being artificial and immature.
Random punks seem to be harassing some helpless kid. Tell them off; threaten to call the police if you have to.
9. Make a new friend.
Friendship is the coolest and most powerful anti-evil force in the world. If we all saw one another as friends, the effect would be beautiful. So introduce yourself to people and gain comrades. Also, try to imagine everyone as a potential friend.
Hatred based on misunderstanding has always been, and still is, one of the most prominent diseases plaguing our collective hearts and minds.
We are all human beings — a bunch of modest primates, born into a mysterious existence, trying to be happy. Don’t make it more difficult for some of us.
11. Tell someone you love them.
You can never tell someone you love them too many times in this finite life. If you love ’em, say so. Simple as that.
12. Do a good deed.
I suppose everything on this list could be considered ‘a good deed’, but I’m including this anyways. So there.
Pick up somebody’s books for them. Help an elderly woman cross the street. Do any number of cliché acts of kindness. Or original ones that I couldn’t think of.
Toss some spare change in the tray at the grocery store. Cut off your untamed mane and give it to Locks of Love. Buy a sandwich for a homeless fellow.
We all wrong others sometimes. It’s what makes us human. If you do, tell them how sorry you are. A relationship broken because of stubbornness or pride is the definition of tragedy.
And likewise, forgive people who hurt you. Anger, bitterness, and resentment create cold lives and a cold world.
Be Part of the Solution
This post boils down to a challenge. A challenge to myself and to all of you.
Channel positivity. Share your gifts. Spread joy. Be nice to people. Stand up for what’s right.
Making this world a better place for everyone begins with you and me. This life is rough enough as it is, yet many people do nothing but contribute to the negativity.
Selfish individuals who complain, hurt, and disrespect are everywhere. Their indifference is a virus that spreads and seeps into all of our lives.
We can’t afford to passively accept this. We must rise up and fight for a better world. We must envision a place of caring, of compassion, of love. We must actively be a part of the solution.
I’m far from perfect, but I try to do my part to give of myself and to create a bit more good feeling each day.
I choose passion, integrity, respect, and kindness.
I’ve accepted the challenge. Will you?
“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”
— Edward Everett Hale
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Thanks, and have a wonderful day.