Be A Good Person

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Listen, I get it. You’re in a hurry. You have a class or a meeting or a date to get to. You are having a pretty sucky day yourself. You might have had a bad phone call earlier. I don’t know. But none of these things gives you the right to act like a jerk. Please note, that I said act like and not be. To be a jerk full time is a whole different matter in itself.

I get it. I have my moments of being a righteous idiot in my actions. But I try. And here is how I try:

Be Nice For Once

This is where the argument of “but I am nice” is going to come into play. Let me clarify, be nice even when you're having the worst days in the history of worst days. The barista at Starbucks does not deserve to get yelled at because he spelled your name wrong and that is just the icing on the cake because your significant other broke up with you, and your dog died, your car broke down, and now your name is spelled wrong on a seriously overpriced cup of coffee. The barista did not ask for this. They do not need to be yelled at. You are having a bad day. But just say thank you and move on. You don’t have to tell them that you love the drink or that they should have an amazing day, just say thank you and leave.

Crack A Joke

Please just let that joke be appropriate for all audiences and that you aren’t going to make anyone give you a mean right hook. I like people who tell jokes, or ridiculous stories, or do anything remotely funny. It makes me laugh and want to hear more. And sometimes the right joke can brighten up someone's day. I was one the  bus one day, and there was a mom with a crying baby. Most everyone on the bus was glaring or trying to ignore it. I don’t know why. But a guy that got on the bus behind me went up to the woman, and I thought he was going to tell her to make the baby be quiet, but instead he started pulling faces and making clicking noises with his tongue. The baby went from crying to laughing in a matter of seconds. I didn’t know any of the people involved, but that situation made me laugh and smile.

Listen

No, seriously, listen. Listen to what a person has to say. When someone just needs a rant and rave about how big a jerk their professor is, just listen. It will give them a chance to get those feelings off their chest in a safe place. My poor friends and family have been decent enough people to listen to me for years. And it makes me trust them all the more. Do it for others, listen to how crappy their day went or how they got that promotion they had been hoping for. But listen. Even if it’s a problem they want you to hear, talking out loud can make the problem almost easier to solve. And I’m fairly certain if you truly listen to others, they will listen to you.

Pay It Forward

There is a pizza shop in New York that is covered in sticky notes.There is a reason for the sticky notes, though, it’s not just a decor choice. It’s so that people that can’t afford to buy a slice of pizza can grab a sticky note and pay with that. The money comes from people that pre-buy slices of pizza when they bought their own. I have been able to do this once, but not as often as I’d like. I can’t always pay for other people. That’s why I try to pay it forward in actions. Giving people directions with a smile (for those that I have done this for, I am sorry, I am crap at giving directions). Holding doors open for people. Volunteer. There’s a website called Free Rice that donates rice for every question you answer correctly. If it’s safe (no sharps, or liquids) pick up litter. Leave nice notes around your campus or job.

Try some of these things instead of getting mad or having a bad day and sharing it with everyone. Try to make someone else’s day a bit brighter, as corny as that sounds. It works.