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39 Small Things You Can Do Every Day To Make A Better World

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39 Small Things You Can Do Every Day To Make A Better World

We would all like to live in a kinder, greener, less stress-filled world, right? A world where our kids can thrive and be happy. But the world in general is bogged down by real struggles against poverty, disease, crime, violence, environmental degradation, ignorance and so on, which constitutes much pain.

Anyone can complain, point fingers and shift blame for the problems that plague our world today, but it takes a difference maker to initiate a positive change in the world. It takes a better man or woman to acknowledge the issues in our world and take small steps toward making a positive difference.

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Small actions done with care and a pure heart every day have tremendous value and can influence the world around you, as well as the world at large. While the contents of this list might not be new, they bear repeating. Sometimes it takes a few reminders for things to sink in.

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Here are 39 little things you can do every day to make it a better world.

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  1. Say hello to people you meet on the streets. 80% of the people you meet are generally good, decent people

  2. Laugh and give others the benefit of a doubt. You might be wrong, but so what? Laughter is contagious

  3. Give free hugs. Apart from reducing stress and tension, it’s a gift that is immediately reciprocated and will make people feel great, even long after

  4. Smile at the cashier, waiter, barista, parking ramp attendant etc., and ask them how they are doing. Everyone wants to feel love, connection and affection

  5. Really listen to what people have to say (intently) without interrupting or waiting impatiently for your turn to speak

  6. Find some aspect to appreciate in the people you meet and pass along compliments

  7. Offer directions to people who seem lost

  8. Support someone who’s striving for a goal with your money, advice, presence or other form of support

  9. Babysit for free

  10. Provide a foster home for an animal in need

  11. Feed domestic animals and birds (if you have any) and give them enough water to drink

  12. Water your plants, lawn and or garden early in the morning before any moisture is lost to evaporation

  13. Leave treats out for pets, wildlife and other furry friends to enjoy, such as nuts for the squirrels, a salt lick for the deer or simply fill up the bird feeder

  14. Be patient, kind and respectful to people who are older than you

  15. Respect people’s property and don’t take it without permission, trespass or damage maliciously. Instead protect and keep it safe

  16. Hold doors for people carrying heavy things, pushing strollers or just immediately behind you

  17. Offer to return grocery carts for those who are leaving when you are going toward the store entrance

  18. Refer your friends, family, relatives and or acquaintances to qualified service providers

  19. Help a neighbor with a task, such as taking trash to the curb, raking extra leaves or running an errand

  20. Share a special meal with those you care about

  21. Create necessity packs and give them to those unsure of where their next meal or shelter is going to come from

  22. Drive responsibly, making sure to obey stop lights, traffic rules and keep a safe distance between you and the car ahead

  23. Give preference to pedestrians, motorists or other road users at intersections. The person behind you might not approve, but kindness starts with you

  24. Offer your seat to someone who needs it

  25. Read to the kids, the elderly and or the shut-ins

  26. Donate what you don’t need in your house to shelters, the Salvation Army, or other institutions serving those in need

  27. Let someone off the hook for a mistake or misdeed and see how it makes both of you feel

  28. Save your recyclable trash till you find someplace to recycle them

  29. Turn off your computer instead of leaving it in sleep mode. You can save 40 watt-hours per day

  30. Turn off the lights and faucet when not in use

  31. Turn on the oven only when you put the dish in to save energy. Don’t pre-heat the oven unless you are making bread or pastries of some sort

  32. Use one less napkin a day. More than a billion pounds of napkins could be saved from landfills each year

  33. Use both sides of paper, and set your printer’s default option to print double-sided (duplex printing). You’ll be saving many trees

  34. Recycle your daily newspaper. Recycling just the Sunday papers would save more than half a million trees every week

  35. Ban bath time! Take showers instead. Baths require almost twice as much water and inflate energy costs for heating the water

  36. Brush without running the water. You’ll conserve up to five gallons per day if you stop running

  37. Shower with your partner. Not only will you have made a wise choice for the environment, but you may notice some other pleasant… benefits

  38. Take a shorter shower. Every two minutes you save on your shower can conserve more than ten gallons of water

  39. Make art—paint, sculpt, sketch, write, compose music, create dance moves—whatever it is. Do it and finish it. It will add color to the world

Remember every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play to make this world a better place.

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Featured photo credit: World In Your Hands via stokpic.com

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More by this author

David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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