The goal is to join humanity to work together to love, nourish, and protect this big, beautiful, diverse world of ours. Here are 10 steps to help you achieve that goal:
#1. Be a good listener
Listen with all your attention. Practice not giving an opinion or advice unless asked.
When you are in a disagreement, listen without thinking of how you are going to answer, or why you think that person is wrong.
Just listen to what others are saying to you. It helps us to get a better understanding of what is happening and what the other person is going through and feeling.
If you are not really listening, instead you are thinking of ways to rebut, you are not doing anything to grow as a human.
#2. Don’t make excuses
Own your mistakes and learn from them. Pointing fingers at someone other than yourself for your failures will get you nowhere.
Be happy with yourself, even with making mistakes because mistakes are a sign you are trying. And when you keep trying you will be successful.
#3. Stick up for yourself and others
When you see something, say something.
Whether you are a man or a woman, young or old, it is important to open your mouth when you hear something that is just plain wrong, degrading, bigoted, sexist, or mean-spirited in general.
#4. Release your anger
I think it’s important to experience your anger.
Listen to your mind and body and figure out where that anger is coming from and pay attention to how you feel when that anger erupts.
Pay attention to what it’s doing to your mind and body.
Develop ways to release and tame that anger such as meditation, tai chi, praying, taking a walk, or focusing on something more calming.
#5. Learn about others
You will never be able to identify with things you know nothing about.
You have to be willing to learn about other people, people different from yourself – different from how you were raised, your culture, race, class, sexual preference, or faith.
#6. Articulate your thoughts
Be direct and honest. Look, honesty sometimes sucks but a lie is a violation of trust.
I know I, for one, would want to hear that new outfit looks terrible on me, rather than hearing it looks good when it doesn’t.
Of course, at first I’m going to feel a little crappy about it, but I would rather hear the truth.
#7. Help others
One of the most effective ways to practice being a better human is to help other humans wherever you are and whenever you can. Helping others in small ways does big things in the field of energy floating around and within us.
Give up your seat to the elderly person on the bus, help a mother get a stroller up the steps, hold the door for someone, help your spouse bring in the groceries, lend a hand to a co-worker, help someone reach something from a high shelf – all these things take nothing but a little kindness and a few moments of time.
#8. Have respect for others
You don’t have to agree with people to respect them. Just as you want others to respect your opinions and ideas, you have to afford that same thinking to the opinions and ideas of others. No matter how different another person is, everyone deserves respect.
#9. Education is your friend
If there is something going on that you simply don’t quite understand, learn about it! If you don’t understand a political view, for instance, you will never understand it unless you learn about it from someone who actually has that point of view (Here’s where your listening skills come in.) Watch news from sources that are not biased to the opinion you yourself hold, but look for sources telling the other side of the argument.
#10. Take responsibility
It’s okay to feel however you are feeling. In fact, it’s normal and healthy to work through hard times. But you can’t remain in pity or sadness. Figure out what happened, what you could have done differently, forgive yourself and move on. It wasn’t the first mistake you made and it surely won’t be the last. Sometimes there is nothing you could have done differently, you have to understand that as well.
If you’ve wronged someone it’s up to you to make amends. It’s part of your growth as a human. Own your missteps, understand them, then move along.