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The art of benevolence; a reminder to always be kinder.

Updated: May 12, 2022

Achieving a higher state of social development is essential to modern societies. There is no place for devolutionary behaviors that only serve to dissolve our advancements in unity and equality. When you see bad behavior, call it by its name.

Consider how your own behavior impacts others throughout your daily travels. The expression of kindness instills kindness and creates a gentler world for all of us. For those like me of a certain age, these are just some of the tools our parents gave us. Times may change, but the implements of our humanity remain simply grounded in kindness. In no particular order, consider these:

When driving, drive assertively with the flow, not aggressively. Merging is neighborly, do it with the pleasure of having such privilege to drive on safe shared roads. Yield to others on the road and in general; it’ll lower your blood pressure.

When writing to others, use proper syntax and grammar, be considerate with your words and tone and always reply promptly and succinctly.

Maintain a calendar, either electronically or in your pocketbook. Make appointments, faithfully keep appointments, always confirm, always be early, and always prepare the day beforehand to avert unexpected delays.

Break bread often with loved ones and always pray before meals, and be thankful to your higher power for the food you receive. Tip generously, always. In spite of the service. Be the last in and last out of an elevator; better yet use the stairs. Wash your hands often and always. Wipe the sink or door handle with your hand towels as you exit the public restroom.

Open doors for strangers. When shaking hands with someone, look them in the eye and shake firmly and earnestly take an interest in their name. Listen, observe and watch your children's online behaviors intently with an observant, maniacal love. Let them remain off-net children for as long as possible and take nothing they do for granted.

Smile and greet others respectfully and always wish others well upon departing. Always kindly say please, thank you, my apologies, pardon and excuse me whenever the occasion calls for it. When riding public transportation, always stand and otherwise give up your seat to someone more deserving when seated.

Be chivalrous. A courteous and gallant gesture is befitting any gender. Open doors for others, and kindly help a pedestrian or neighbor in need. Always respect and yield to your elders. Walk the curb while you promenade with someone more vulnerable than yourself on a sidewalk.

Pay it forward and backward: buy coffee for a person in need, or the person behind you in line. Compliment others often. Donate things you have not used in over a year to those in need, give old towels or blankets to an animal shelter or donate extra dog or cat food. When shopping, let someone go in front of you in line who only has a few items.

Leave a quarter at the laundromat, or on the street. Acknowledge the hard work of employees at the store, and share your appreciation. Always thank our uniformed protectors from all walks of life. Pick up their tab when you can. Leave unused coupons with their matching products in the grocery store. Always return your shopping cart properly.

In group settings, make everyone feel included. Pay the toll for the person behind you. Respect everyone. Learn the names of all you encounter and greet them by name. Say “hello” to strangers with a smile. Pick up litter when you see it. Recycle what and when you can.

Always smile at others, it will always break the ice. Be grateful and good to yourself for at least 30 minutes each day. Babysit a child or elderly parent for free. Write a love letter to your partner.

Take opportunities to give compliments. It costs nothing and means everything. Give flowers or treats to a Nurse, Doctor, or Flight attendant. Give your umbrella to someone in need. Run an errand for family or friends.

Always silence and stow your phone while in the company of others, especially when breaking bread together. Trade face-time, screen time, and scroll-time for real-time with loved ones and friends. Only use Social media on one device in the home and always fully and completely log out each time. Remove all mobile apps that track, notify, and otherwise distract you and your family members from being your best selves. Change passwords often, especially wifi passwords.

Write a message for yourself, and post it on the fridge or desk. Always be good and kind to yourself. "Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see"- Mark Twain.

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