Thursday, September 15, 2016

Creativity Tips: 18 Ways to be a Mensch

Here's a completely radical concept in these days of social media and instant communication: You don't have to say everything that pops into your head.

Whoa. Think about that for a moment. And, as you do, consider this:

18 Ways to be a Mensch

  1. Be nice to the waiter.
  2. Follow the advice from Sai Baba, an Indian spiritual master: "Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it kind, is it necessary, is it true? Does it improve upon the silence?"
  3. Hold doors open, especially for the elderly or people with arms full of packages or babies. Smile as you let them go through.
  4. When you make a mistake, apologize. Graciously. Face-to-face, if possible, and with no excuses. 
  5. Put your phone away. Pay attention to the person right in front of you.
  6. Look for the lonely people. Let them know you're there, if they want to talk. 
  7. Say, "Thank you!" Say, "You're welcome!"
  8. Let someone else win -- let them have the worst day, or the best cookies. 
  9. Don't go for the easy joke, if it might hurt someone's feelings. 
  10. Think about the other person's feelings. 
  11. Remember that everyone -- everyone -- is struggling with something. (Since this is a series on being a mensch, I'll continue with the Yiddish. We all have tsurris (troubles, disasters, heartache). We all have mishegas (craziness). 
  12. Offer help to someone who is struggling, without waiting to be asked.* 
  13. Let the other driver cut in front of you during rush hour. Don't flip him off. 
  14. Visit someone who is ill. 
  15. Surprise a neighbor with homemade goodies. 
  16. Show up. Attend the weddings. Attend the funerals. 
  17. Listen to the answer -- or the silence -- when you ask someone how they're doing. Respond appropriately. 
  18. Put decency, human dignity and respect first.*

    *Thanks to Carol and Mark for their contributions from Monday's post! We'll wrap up this series tomorrow with our Mensch Manifesto. I hope. I haven't written it yet ...

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