Saturday, December 31, 2016

17 Small New Year’s Resolutions to Build a More Courteous and Considerate World in 2017

The quickening pace of modern life seems to have brought out the worst in some of us. Political divisions have stoked this fire of unpleasantness and toxicity.  
Regardless of what’s going on in the world, the responsibility rests with each of us to righten the ship. To that end I believe that small gestures made every day can help to make things better (if not at least more civil). I ask you to consider including these 17 actions into your set of resolutions for the new year. They can foster a more compassionate, courteous, and considerate world for all. 
  1. Use your cellphone only where and when it’s permitted. Strive to keep your conversations private. That means you may have to excuse yourself in social situations. 
  2. Use your car's horn sparingly. You want to avoid potential accidents with drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and others.  
  3. Say excuse me when you brush up against a person or when you need them to move so you can pass through.
  4. Observe the right of way on the road (i.e., first to arrive, first to proceed). That's regardless of whether you're driving, cycling, or walking. 
  5. Maintain some distance between you and others in a crowd, whenever possible and practical.
  6. Look up while you’re walking.
  7. Acknowledge others you encounter. Nod your head or even say hello, when appropriate.  
  8. Give someone the benefit of the doubt.
  9. Hold onto your garbage until you come across the nearest trash can.
  10. Smile for no particular reason.
  11. Call someone you haven't spoken to in awhile just to say hello.
  12. Say please.
  13. Say thank you.
  14. Say you're welcome.
  15. Admit when you're wrong and apologize unconditionally. 
  16. RSVP for parties or events you've been invited to attend. 
  17. Focus your energies on solutions to life's difficulties, not the difficulties themselves.
May this list offer you a starting point for your own actions. There's more than enough for each of us to address on our own. We don't need to focus on what other people do (or might do, or don’t do). Let's together make it a great 2017. Happy New Year.

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