Like all mums, I’m aiming to raise ‘good people’, but sometimes I wonder what that actually means. What does it mean to be a good human? SUCH a big topic and one we all take a lifetime to perfect, but what if we broke it down to daily habits? What do good humans do each day that maybe many people forget to do? Here are five things I’m pretty sure are on the list.
READ MORE: 5 Secrets to Raising a Kid Who is Kind
1. Notice when people are nice. It’s so easy (so, so, so easy) to criticise when our fellow humans do the wrong thing (“he cut me off!”, “she pushed in!”, “what is she wearing?”), but much harder to put our rose-coloured glasses on and catch them doing something right. Let’s look for the little hand-wave when we let someone in on the road; exchange a smile with a fellow weary school mum when we both reach the gate at the same time; and bask in the offers of help from our beautiful friends. Good humans always notice the right.
2. Pick up someone else’s rubbish. It’s a bit like being at home: if we don’t do it, who will? It only takes a couple of minutes to use a tissue to pick up someone else’s leftovers and so many people benefit when the rubbish is gone. I really don’t get why people can’t clean up their own mess, but that’s not going to stop me from doing the job for them when they forget.
3. Praise people behind their back. By all means, praise their front too, but wouldn’t it be nice to start a movement where instead of stabbing people in the back we smother them with praise instead? I like to talk people up a lot because they deserve it. Most people HATE it when we tell them how wonderful they are, so let’s just bypass the recipient altogether and praise them profusely to someone else instead.
4. Pause and say thank you. I know I’m guilty of throwing out a ‘yeah, thanks so much’ as I dash from one obstacle to another, but what a difference actually pausing to acknowledge a kindness makes. I’ve been taking it a step further this year by following up with a little thank you text or email emphasising how much I value the things other people do for me. It’s made me feel good and I just know it’s made my friends feel good too.
5. Send someone a letter. I received a letter last week from an old friend I went to school with. Just a lovely letter written on pretty paper, telling me about what she’s up to and asking me how I am doing too. It had been a very, very long time since I last received a letter like that and I’ve been picking up that pretty paper every day to read a line again. It means that much to me. In a world of fast digital communication, good people like my old school mate know that giving someone your undivided attention is one of the greatest gift of all. I will remember that when I take the time to write back to her.
What daily habits do you think makes a good person?
More ideas for feeling good:
- 5 Reasons Why You Might be Getting in Your Own Way
- 5 Superfoods that Can Give You a Healthy Glow
- 5 Ways I Sneak In Exercise Without Going To the Gym