We’d all like to live in a kinder, cleaner, less stress-filled world, right? Well, your mom was right when she said that the only thing you can control is yourself.
And while I fantasize about the day that I’ll levitate with goodness and grace, that day might be a while in coming. With that in mind, here are 19 super doable, non-intimidating, tiny things we can all do (today!) to make the world slightly better.
19 tiny ways to make the world a better place
1. Wipe off the public sink after you use it
Are you using a paper towel? Why not wipe down the sink after you’ve dried your hands? Public bathrooms frequently go hours between cleanings and I’m sure the next person will appreciate the lack of splashed water and soap scum.
2. Return shopping carts to the corral
3. Save your recyclable trash
4. If you see some (not totally disgusting) trash, pick it up
5. Let people merge and/or courtesy wave
6. When someone’s good at their job, praise them to their supervisor
7. Post a thank you note on an event’s Facebook page
8. Make eye contact with and smile at your barista/cashier/parking ramp attendant/wait staff
9. Report things that break in your apartment building
10. Report potholes, abandoned cars, etc to the city
11. When you see something, say something
When you see someone being harassed do this. When someone uses a racial slur, or calls something ‘retarded’ or ‘gay,’ say “Do you think that’s appropriate?” If you’re a guy and you see another guy yelling things at women on the street, tell him to back off.
12. Offer directions to people who look lost
13. Be nice to people who are older than you
14. Bring an extra bobby pin/tampon/condom/hair binder/safety pin
15. Put your phone on silent, in your bag when you’re hanging out with someone in person
16. When someone on a dating site sends you an email they’ve clearly put time and effort into, respond (even if you’re not interested) kindly telling them that and wish them luck.
Because haven’t we all experienced that unique heartbreak that comes with slaving over The Perfect Email to someone we’re convinced is our next Someone – only to hear crickets? It’s polite and considerate to acknowledge you got the email, thank them, and wish them the best of luck in their endeavors.
17. Hold doors for people pushing strollers or carrying heavy things
18. Let people with one or two items go in front of you at the grocery store
19. Biggest one: Realize that Everyone is doing the best they can with what they've got. When we know better, we do better. Click To Tweet
It is so, so easy (so easy!) to get annoyed/disappointed/straight-up pissed off by humanity at large. OMG WHY ARE YOU DRIVING 40 IN THE FAST LANE? Do you think the ’10 item limit’ doesn’t apply to you? Why are you not holding the elevator, ya dick?
But, ultimately, you never know. Maybe they lost their glasses and can’t read the elevator buttons. Maybe they just got dumped and they’re cry-driving. Maybe they’re about to pitch a huge client and they’re too deep in thought to realize they stepped into the express lane. Most of us are doing our best – in whatever shape that takes.