One small thing we all can do is lift each other up.
I had a few kind words and kind gestures given to me today, and it really lifted me up. Speaking of this topic, I want to share my philosophy:
Okay, every day you wake up, and you’re consuming a lot of resources. As an American, you are using 200 times more resources than the average Ethiopian. I feel that every day we all need to justify our existence.
One thing you can do is make it a point to make life a little less miserable for someone every day. This can be done with a kind deed or some nice words.
We all come across service people every day — in restaurants, stores, and other businesses. Always give them a smile. Try to say something positive and kind. Always try to lift others up. If there is a problem with your service, freak people out by not being a jerk. Rather, be patient and tolerant. Service people are usually low paid and they typically don’t want to be behind that counter. Many of them lead hard lives and they are just trying to survive. If you have a sense of humor, make them laugh.
Over the course of a day, it just take a few positive people like yourself to put someone in a better mood. When that person goes home from their crappy job, that positive mood may transfer to others in their household. Holy crap, you just made the world a slightly better place.
Don’t whine, demand, and scream because there is a pea in your mashed potatoes. Life is short, and in the grand scheme of things it’s not important.
EXPECT the world to be an imperfect place, and you’ll be a lot less stressed and feel better. Technology will fail, just as it has since the beginning of technology. People will make mistakes. Things will go wrong, and then snowball. Learn to accept that. If you have a service problem, explain your problem, and ALWAYS be polite and respectful. Trust me, assholes are a penny a dozen. Be the exception.
Just for fun, I always like to have a behavior that’s totally unexpected. One time I was at an event and I learned that even though I had a room reservation, no rooms were available. The hotel had rebooked me at another hotel, far away by the airport. I simply said, “That will work out perfectly — I have a colleague who’s staying in that area.” The hotel clerk was surprised. He said, “Wow, you’re the only person who didn’t yell at me about this today.” That made me feel really good.
In conclusion, I want to give a shout out to the positive, happy people in my life who continually lift me up and make me feel good. I am blessed to have each of you in my life, and I love you all. See, I said something nice.
Originally published at The Singularity, my personal blog, April 6, 2013.