I’ve been thinking – for obvious reasons – what makes us better humans? Here’s my off-the-top-of-my-head list:
- Respond to feelings with feelings. (Don’t follow a feeling with a fact.) When I say, “I’m really sad because of what’s going on in the world,” you say, “It makes me feel so sad too. And angry.” You don’t respond by saying, “That gunman was mentally ill.” And please don’t follow my feeling with silence as if I didn’t say anything.
- Show up for people. Go to the funeral. Remember the death dates as well as the birthdays. Send the sympathy letter (preferably with remembrances of specific things you loved about the person who’s gone.)
- Send flowers or some other signs of beauty. When things are tough, it’s comforting to be in the presence of beauty.
- Don’t try to fix things. The hardest things in life cannot be fixed – unless someone needs money. If you can share money, that might relieve an immediate burden.
- Don’t should on people as in “You should have ____.” Never do this.
- Don’t make life all about you. It’s not always your party, your story, your moment.
- Care about people who are not in your family or friend groups. All people were created in the image of God. Even the dirty ones. Even the mean ones. Even the gunmen.
- Be teachable. I tweeted something thoughtless yesterday and someone was kind enough to let me know. Thank you N.
This is a starter list. What would you add?