It's pretty simple.
Yet, somehow, we forget. We eat too much, sleep too little, wake up on the wrong side of life, are running late, annoyed by fate and let one asshole affect our whole day and, in turn, others who are the byproduct of our now ignorant attitude, paying forward (or should I say backward?) a pissed off perception of the world and all those that are forced to inhabit it with us.
A few friendly reminders:
Make eye contact.
Get off your phone and actually interact.
Say please and thank you.
Ask how others are doing. Mean it.
Don't think you're better than anyone else. You're not.
Don't bitch behind people's backs.
Don't backstab your friends.
Don't take the credit.
Don't steal others' things: food (from the office fridge), sources, husbands...
Please God wipe the freaking seat.
Don't betray others to get ahead.
Don't hide behind a computer and hate.
Hold the door.
Don't pretend to be pushing the elevator door open when you're actually profusely beating close.
Let others in your lane.
Let the person at the store with only a few items ahead of you.
Help the elderly, the blind, the homeless and the MOMS.
Tip. And tip well.
Give an unexpected tip. To the bathroom attendant, the barista, the janitor...
Fold back up that sweater and put it in the appropriate pile. Hell, maybe even a few more that others left crumpled.
Drop the ego. No one cares who you are. Everyone's just trying to do their job.
The person telling you the policies is just the messenger. Don't shout at them.
Don't treat your employees like your "help." Don't treat your help like your help.
Don't. Fucking. Litter. Take your trash along with your lazy ass a few steps farther to the trash can.
Return the grocery cart.
Don't steal parking spaces. OR CABS.
Give up your seat on the subway.
Don't beep your horn a mile away when someone's in the crosswalk and will absolutely be gone by the time you get there.
Don't step on the accelerator when you see said people in said crosswalk.
Don't be that douche who floors it out of a parking lot or parking space. Or the drag racer. Or the motorcyclist who guns it. We all now immediately know what -- and where -- you're shortcomings are.
Just don't be a dick.
Look, we all have our days. I'm not getting all Pollyanna, I promise. But if we resist the urge to flip the bird nine times out of 10, think how gratifying that one time will be.
After we're done flaunting that free-floating (and fleeting!) finger, let's go back to choosing kindness. Let's pause, take a breath, gather some perspective and realize it's not that bad. Let's cut each other a break. It's likely others are having as tough as -- or tougher -- a day as we are. Let's be the one to break the cycle. Change the course of their day -- and ours. By letting them ahead, we're even farther in front than we realize.