A few nice gestures might not change the world, but what a great place to start.
Changing the world is big business. The world is a big place, after all, at least 100 miles across and populated by upwards of 1,000 people, but I’m no scientist. How the heck can any of us make an impact on such a vast expanse of real estate or people-itude? It’s impossible.
Or is it? Maybe changing the world isn’t such a huge task, after all. Plenty of individuals have made tremendous impacts: Jesus, Ghandi, Little Debbie. “Large streams from little fountains flow, Tall oaks from little acorns grow,” claimed D. Everett back in 1797. Here’s a handful of nice little acorns for you to plant today. They may not bear instant fruit, but that’s not how seeds work.
1. Put Away Your Cart. Easy enough, right? Just walk your empty cart back to the store or stick it in the closest cart corral. Want to have some fun? Push hard and hitch a ride on the back. You’ll get some exercise, you’ll leave a cart for the next guy, and you won’t block a parking space. Triple acorns!
2. Overtip. I’m not talking about crazy thousand dollar Justin Timberlake tips, just a little bit over. Maybe you think tipping is silly. Why doesn’t the restaurant just pay your server a decent wage? Because the law says they don’t have to, because you’re going to tip. Don’t like it? Take that fight up with your congressperson and help the service industries earn a living wage. But for now, don’t hose your waiter out of gas money. Toss an extra buck in the kitty.
3. Turn Off the Television. There’s nothing wrong with TV; in fact, I love it. We’re in a new golden age of programming. Know who else is enjoying a golden age? Your kid, your partner, your grandpa, your lonely neighbor. You’re enjoying a golden age, too. Remember that toothpick model of the Eiffel Tower you always wanted to build? Today is a good day to get started. Go be creative or make some memories or have some laughs. Or all of the above.
4. Put Down the Gun. I mean that figuratively, but if you’re actually holding a gun please put it down. At least once today let an argument go, be it in person or online. You weren’t going to convince your buddy that Brawndo doesn’t have what plants need anyway. Just listen to his explanation (“It has electrolytes!”) without judgement. He’ll appreciate it, and who knows? Maybe you’ll even learn something.
5. Apologize. But you have to mean it. “I’m sorry I called your whore of a mother a whore” does not qualify as an apology. Dig deep. Empathize. Even when we’re right sometimes we’re wrong simply in our approach.
We tend to focus on the big stuff, and rightfully so: climate change, corruption, exploitation, the continuing and inexplicable popularity of Ryan Seacrest. These are monolithic problems, and dwelling on them can leave us feeling helpless, hopeless, and haphazard. Now and then pull focus no farther than your fingertips. What can you make better today? Go make it happen.
Categories: Good Men Project