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Want to Change the World? Be a F*cking Nice Person

You’re tired of all the division and anger and fighting? Well, the change starts with you, friend.

ou’re really sick and tired of everyone fighting and not listening to each other, right? And you keep thinking, “Gosh, this isn’t going to get better! America is a mess! We are doomed! Why is everyone such an asshole?”

Well, there’s a good chance you’re an asshole too.

It’s much easier to point the finger at everyone but yourself, when you too might be playing a role in the division and gloom. I’m not saying you’re a Grade A troll, but maybe you’re just not as nice as you can be.

Maybe you move around this planet not saying thank you, or cutting people off on the road, or looking like a cranky sourpuss. Well, if you want the world to be a better place, you gotta put a little work in too, and that starts with Being Nice 101.

Some of these tips might seem basic, and some of you might do all 31 of them, but some of you don’t. And the time to start is now. It’s time for your to reclaim being a nice human being.

  1. Don’t leave your f*cking shopping cart in the middle of the parking lot. Don’t be that asshat.
  2. Hold the door open for the person behind you. It takes two seconds of your precious time.
  3. Say thank you when someone holds the door open for you. They’re not your personal servant.
  4. Look your restaurant server in the eye when they’re talking to you, say thank you when they bring you something, and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD TIP AT LEAST 20%. Don’t be a cheap mother f*cker.
  5. Thank the cashier at the grocery store, thank the bank teller, thank the toll collector, thank the post office worker, thank the DMV worker, thank the taxi cab driver, thank the bus driver, etc. Any person who is offering you a service — THANK THEM. It literally takes .00001% of effort to say two words — thank you — and saying it can make someone feel better, or at least feel appreciated.
  6. Don’t be a dipshit and cut people off on the road.
  7. If someone lets you cut in on the road, give a friendly wave. It takes you one goddamn second to raise your hand.
  8. HOLY SHIT USE YOUR BLINKER.
  9. If someone is driving really slowly on the highway, you don’t have to honk at them. They might be an old person who is terrified of driving on the highway. You don’t want to be that dick who honks at a terrified 80-year-old, do you?
  10. Smile more often. I know no one HAS to smile, but if you walk around looking like a grump, people are going to treat you like a grump. Sometimes we have grumpy days, but sometimes smiling makes you and everyone around you feel a little better too.
  11. As for smiling, don’t judge someone if they’re being grumpy. I know it’s really hard not to, but maybe they’re having a shitty day. Try to practice empathy with them, and if they’re really just a giant asshole, just ignore them.
  12. Don’t cut off your work colleague while they’re talking. Just let them talk. When they are done, THEN you can talk. Your place of work isn’t the Me Show.
  13. Don’t bitch about your co-workers at work. Wait until you get home and unload on your poor loved ones.
  14. Don’t throw your cigarette butt on the ground. First, nature isn’t your f*cking ash tray. Second, you look really trashy throwing your butt on the ground, just saying.
  15. Recycle. It’s really not that f*cking hard. If you have recyclables in your hands and two bins in front of you — one for non-recyclables and one for recyclables — put the recyclables in the recycling bin.
  16. If a homeless person walks up to you, don’t act like they don’t exist. They’re human. Even if you can’t give them some spare change, at least nod or smile.
  17. Don’t be quick to judge people or reprimand them online. If they’re being a f*cking dick, fine, but if they’re not, wait to have an adult conversation with them in person.
  18. When talking online, ask yourself if you’re just caught up in the outrage machine and if you’re what you’re saying serves zero purpose and helps zero people.
  19. If you’re at a city, state or national park, don’t be that dick that throws their trash on the ground, or climbs on things you’re not supposed to climb on, or tries to get selfies with animals. You will be silently judged as an asshole by many people.
  20. Volunteer more often, especially if you’re angry at the world. Volunteering is a great way to help others and to not feel helpless during a time of upheaval.
  21. Don’t be that f*cking asshole who likes to prank others. You’re not 12 anymore. Grown-ass adults really hate pranks.
  22. Pay your partner, or your child, or your parent, or a complete stranger a compliment. Compliments go a long way.
  23. If you see an elderly person who needs assistance, for the love of God, help them. Ask if you can walk them across the street or if you can carry their groceries. Sometimes they’ll say, “Nah, I got this.” But it’s nice to show you give a flying rat’s ass.
  24. If you have an elderly neighbor, check in on them. Say hi. If they sit out on the front porch every day, ask if you can join them. Elderly people are the bee’s knees and they have a lot of interesting stories.
  25. If you see a veteran, say thank you or nod or smile or just acknowledge their presence. Look, even if you’re against wars or the military, these folks are brave and many of them protected and saved others.
  26. Say hi to your neighbor. NOBODY F*CKING KNOWS THEIR NEIGHBORS ANYMORE.
  27. Call your mom. Your dad. Your grandparents. You best friend from grade school. Look, I know talking on the phone is f*cking awkward, but you only have one life and you’ll be happy you took the effort to talk to your loved ones. Nobody ever says on their death bed: “Man, I talked on the phone TOO much.”
  28. Say hi to strangers. If it seems weird to you, just know that it’s scientifically proven to make you, and the people around you, happier.
  29. For all that is holy don’t be that person walking around in public talking on your speaker phone. No one wants to hear your personal conversations about the latest The Bachelor episode. It’s really f*cking inconsiderate to the people around you.
  30. Don’t be a dick to your significant other, unless your significant other is a big dick themselves. If you’re BOTH dicks, then maybe it’s not a good relationship, but if YOU’RE being the dick, stop it. Words have meaning and if you have baggage you need to work out, go see a therapist and don’t unload on your partner — you’re only creating future baggage for them, and resentment.
  31. If you make a mistake, (WO)MAN UP TO IT. You’re big boy/girl/non-binary individual. Admitting you made a mistake is what being a responsible adult looks like, and this world needs responsible adults if we want it to run smoothly.
  32. Tell the people in your inner circle and greater community how much you appreciate them. Check in on them. Send a little note. A small gift. Tell them you love them and that you’re thankful for their existence. Not to sound all Marianne Williamson, but maybe if we practiced love and empathy a little more, America would be a better place.

Freelance writer; film Loves Her Gun premiered @ SXSW ‘13; used to be a Hollywood assistant; rail enthusiast; check out my dumb blog, hipstercrite.com

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