Last Sunday, a friend brought up the point of how much our society values sarcasm and wit, as well as efficiency and productivity. All of those things, at face value, are actually good. I love a good sarcastic joke, and without productivity our modern world would literally collapse. So, when my friend mentioned her observation, she could have been pointing out a plus-side to living in our present time and culture. Her comments did not, however, continue in this happy direction. She observed how these values have almost entirely subverted the subtlety of pleasantness in the world. As we were discussing this, I realized that she is right.
Think about it. When was the last time you said thank you to a stranger for some service where you actually conveyed to them a sense of happy satisfaction that they helped you? Or, when was the last time you held a door for, smiled at, or stopped to assist a complete stranger without accepting anything in return? Normally, I am too busy on my phone or thinking about my to do list to even think about these things. We all interact with our world on a daily basis, and by trying to be pleasant we can help others interact with the world in a way that makes them happier, not grumpier. So, for this week’s suggestion of how you can change the world, I challenge us all to be pleasent. If you need a list of how, I’ve compiled my top ten below.
- Genuinely thank someone providing you a paid service
- Hold the door open for a stranger
- Smile and greet someone walking past you
- If you mess up, give a sincere apology
- Don’t interupt people, even if you know what they’re going to say
- Be positive
- Laugh loudly often, especially when someone tells a joke they thought was funny
- Compliment accurately and sincerely
- Don’t always talk about yourself/ Ask people questions about what they care about
- Put down your technology in public places
Have a pleasent week!