I get the statement, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff,” but I tend to disagree with it. I believe life is made up of the little things, and we must pay attention to them. Look at the world right now: it’s off the rails! Why? Because we stopped caring about the little things, and now the problem is huge!
Until we get back to the basics, we are all going to suffer the consequences. Michael Jackson sings about starting with “the man in the mirror” and how we must first change ourselves. He couldn’t be more correct, and his message is needed today more than ever.
If we are to stand a chance of civility, then we have to be willing to do the little things – even when no one is watching. Start by returning your grocery cart to the rack and opening doors for others. Say please and thank you and for goodness sake, throw your trash into the can!
If you own a dog, pick up the poop. If you smoke, quit! It’s harmful for everyone and our planet. If you don’t want to quit, at least put your cigarette out safely and don’t for the love of God flick it out your window.
When driving, be considerate of others and don’t stop or park your vehicle where it blocks others from moving. Use your turn signal – please! When you do park, don’t take up more than one space. If you are that concerned about your car, don’t drive it.
Everyone would benefit from watching their mouth and carefully selecting the words they use. Just because you think it doesn’t mean you have to share it on social media. Quit the hate speech that you think is acceptable, and stop bullying others to live and think like you. If you don’t have anything nice to say, zip it! Listen more than you speak and seek to understand others.
Respect others and be on time! Say what you mean and mean what you say. Under promise and over deliver. Keep your promises to others and yourself.
If we want respect, we must first give it. In order to give respect, we must have it. Somewhere along the way, we have lost all self-respect, and that should alarm us all. We talk about doing our part, and a great start would be tackling the tough stuff in our own lives. Do the work and look at ways to improve yourself: your attitudes and your actions.
It is much easier to call out bad behavior in others. In fact, I will go as far as to say our culture gives significance to those pointing fingers at others. How about taking the plank out of your own eye first? As Jesus said, “he who is without sin, cast the first stone.” Manners STILL matter!
For more suggestions on how to be the change the world needs, get a copy of my booklet, Manners Still Matter because the little things DO matter.