If you’re lucky, your parents instilled lessons about how to be a good human. And if you’re super-lucky, the lessons stuck. But in case they didn’t, here are my tips on how to be a good human. Because we sure do need more good humans around here. Right?
Being present with your friends, especially in times of need, can mean many things. You can hold sacred space, you can give practical help like providing a meal, visit, send a card or note, simply sit and listen…the options are limitless.
I learned a long time ago that it’s a mistake to say “What can I do for you?” Don’t ask. DO something. Offer something tangible. Because chances are they aren’t going to have an answer to the What can I do for you? Nor should they.
Of course, there are always people who pay lip service only. They offer, but it’s just an offer. You might ask them for something specific and they can’t / don’t do it. That’s ok. It says more about them than about you.
Give as much as you get. At least. It doesn’t mean you have to do the same thing and it’s not about keeping score. It’s about balance. Equilibrium. Not feeling used or that you are using someone.
Be happy for the good fortune of others.
Someone else’s good fortune is to be celebrated! It has nothing to do with your own good or bad fortune. Nothing to do with you. Nothing.
That old standby, the Desiderata, comes to mind and its caution: If you compare yourself to others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Oh, how true that is.
When someone invites you somewhere, respond. That’s right. Some of the common courtesies seem to be gone with the wind. One courtesy is the RSVP. Do it.
Say thank you.
Such a simple thing.
Say “I’m sorry.”
Another super-simple thing.
Follow up, follow through, meet deadlines.
In this strange new world of ours we often do business with people who have never worked in a big organization and therefore have never learned what I call “The Disciplines.” I’m shocked at how many professionals do not follow up when contacted, do not initiate a contact, do not anticipate client needs, do not meet deadlines and do not give even an excuse for missing deadlines–and do not communicate. Did I mention “do not deliver?” If I had behaved that way when I consulted, I’d have no clients.
So be a good human. Take your work seriously. Take your clients seriously. Follow through.
It’s so easy! Much easier than being a jerk.
Why wouldn’t we? That’s all I will say, although I have plenty to say in this current unkind environment.
Don’t use others.
I could write a book on this one, from what I’ve seen and also experienced.
What would you add to this list?
And here’s one of my favorite songs ever. Title is related, maybe lyrics not so much. Enjoy!