8 Tips on Making Your World A Better Place
Changing the world is difficult, but changing your world doesn't have to be. Everyday we become part of a process that directly influences others. Here are a few tips on helping the world.
1. Genuinely greet people who provide you a service
I've worked as a cashier and I've worked at a bar. One thing that always put a kink in the moment was someone who didn't take the second to greet me. Whenever you get on the bus, greet the driver as you walk by. You can't miss them! Bank tellers, waiters, cashiers; a simple smile and "hello" can make a world of difference to someone.
2. Make eye contact and greet people you walk past
This doesn't work in all major areas. If you live in a small enough area with small enough sidewalks, every now and then you'll walk past someone. Greet them. Whether it's early and you say a "Good Morning" or it's mid day or late night and you just offer a quick smile and "Hey." We're all a community, but we tend to cower when we walk past each other in fear. We're all here together! Smiles from strangers have power.
3. Hold doors for people
Whether you're getting on the elevator, a bus, or walking through a lobby door somewhere, take a second to either look back or peek out to see if anyone else is gesturing or jogging towards that door. We all get a little rustled when we miss the elevator by a second. But we also remember small acts of kindness.
4. Be a courteous driver
If you're in a car, your ability to reach a destination increases tenfold. Be courteous when a pedestrian is in the crosswalk, even if they are walking towards it. It'll take a few seconds for you to stop and wait as they cross over.
Use turn signals also. Turn signals were created with other people in mind. Driving can be frustrating on its own. Giving someone the courtesy to let them know you'll be turning soon really does help.
5. Strike up a conversation with the cashier/customer
I've been on both sides of a register. Whenever I rang a customer up I talked to them about their purchase, asked questions, and told them my experiences with certain items in the store. Most jobs involve interaction with people outside of coworkers. Use those moments to meet someone new. If you're the customer, try to start up a short conversation with the cashier. The less people are alienated from their work, the better they feel. You can be the reason for that. And you never know who can teach you something new.
6. Speak no Evil, Hear no Evil
Something which I've been doing for years to keep me in a good place is to stay out of people's business unless they come to be directly about it. The most common place for this is work. There's always a lot of gossiping going around or people speaking ill of other people. It's easy to tell someone you're not interested and/or walk away when the conversation doesn't involve you. Most importantly, keep negative comments about other people to a minimal. There's never a need for it, unless it's being directed at that person.
7. Try to have an open heart
I'll be the first to admit—people suck sometimes. We have clashing views, awkward encounters, and sometimes we just get fed up with each other. Sometimes you'll be having a great day and someone does something which takes away from you as a person. We take things personal, and sometimes it feels like someone is dehumanizing you. Although you part ways, that feeling stays and can carry over to other people you come across. And that's unfair. Catch yourself, take a deep breath, and try to create a new experience and interaction. Most times you'll end up having a genuinely pleasant experience to counter the previous one.
8. Find something that you love and invest time into it: Create!
If you are blessed enough to love your job, that is awesome! If not then find something you genuinely love to do that will develop you as a person. TV, video games, social media are great but there isn't any true creative aspect of it; you're just taking information in. Create a fitness routine for yourself, write, knit, make a photo album, or read books that challenge your brain. When you create, you open new channels of innovation and you understand what you want from your life a little bit more. This open's new doors, new topics to discuss with people, and can also lead to you finding more like-minded people to share with, thus making your world larger.
We are all in this Universe together. Every action and inaction has an impact. Choose wisely.