More ways I will become a better person

Do not subscribe to generalizations about people and countries.

All British have bad teeth. All Americans are fat. All Iranians want to blow us up. All French are surrender monkeys. It is so easy to buy into these common misconceptions. They are often perpetuated through the media, creating a caricature of a country that envelopes everyone in it, regardless of truth or not.

During World War 2, Oskar Schindler famously saved many Jews from the concentration camps by employing them in his factories. They even made a movie about him. One of the countries that the Western world seem to be concerned about is Iran. All we seem to see and hear are negatives about the country and the population. How about some balance? While Oskar Schindler was employing Jews to save them, Abdol-Hossein Sardari, a diplomat in Paris and a Muslim, risked his life to save whole families of Iranian Jews by creating issuing different passports to them. He also created a myth that Iranian Jews were different from European Jews and therefore should be spared. This man risked his life daily to save his fellow country men, regardless of religion. He died in 1981 an unknown.

Just because newspapers and television portray a group of people in a certain light, please understand that generalizations are not always accurate.

Use found money to help others without costing me a penny.

The term ‘found money‘ refers to just that. You are walking down the street and find a toonie on the floor, there is no one around who might have dropped it, you pick it up, put it into your pocket and you have ‘found money‘. It is a nice feeling. In many ways similar to walking into a casino, hitting the button on a fruit machine (one armed bandit or slot machine) and winning a fairly large amount of money. This is found money, money you did not have but now do.

It doesn’t just refer to physical money though. It’s Christmas, a time for giving and many people are probably receiving gift cards, especially Tim Horton‘s gift cards. Now if you drink coffee, as many folk seem to do, then this is a great thing to have! But what if you don’t drink coffee or other beverages that Tim Horton‘s offers? You could empty the gift card buying donuts, a task that is oh so tempting, or you could drive through the drive through and offer to pay for the the drinks of as many of those behind you that the card can. It costs you nothing and yet will make three, four, five strangers smile and perhaps one of them will do the same thing?

Being nice is contagious, so is smiling. If you have ‘found money‘ that you can afford not to have, why not donate it to charity, drop it in a collection box, or make a stranger smile? It will make you feel as good as the recipient of your generosity. So please give me Tim Horton‘s gift cards as presents….. they will be put to good use.

Stop being so damn anti social.

As the internet becomes as popular if not more so than television, the tendency is to use it to communicate to friends, just as we do by texting one another. This is all good and well but there is no actual social interaction achieved by this. It is difficult to compliment someone on their new hair style, weight loss or gain, or even just their mood without seeing it. Yes you can be sent pictures of all these but it really isn’t the same.

I am so guilty of this. I have always tended to be incredibly anti-social to begin with, but with the dawn of the internet I have often been heard to say that I would prefer to read a book, or work on a computer than go out and be social with others. You don’t make new friends this way, trust me, I know. All you achieve is finishing a book you wanted to read, or completing a spreadsheet, or watching a movie. Nothing else positive is gained by being anti-social.

It seems that there is a thresh-hold that keep me being anti-social, one that once crossed makes me wonder why I didn’t do this sooner. It is fun to mix with other people, you meet new people and have a good time. Yet, until this invisible, mental, imaginary barrier is crossed, it is easier and simpler to sit at home, ignoring the world and doing what you want to do.

It’s time to put a stop to this foolish behaviour. It is my loss that I am not out socializing more. I need to realise this and tear down the wall as Pink Floyd would have sung. Be more out going and you can enjoy yourself more than if you are sitting in your basement blogging.

Try something new because you might just like it.

Confession time. For many years I didn’t eat Pizza, Ceasar salad, mushrooms, garlic, yogurt and several other really enjoyable foods. Why didn’t I eat these? Because I didn’t try them. Taking the step to try something new can be a daunting one, even if the step is simply to put something in your mouth for the first time. Once you do and discover that you enjoy it, think about how many months/years you could have been enjoying this.

This doesn’t have to stop at just food. There are so many experiences in the world just waiting to be tried, many of which you will dislike, a few you will hate, but a lot you will either like or love. How will you know which ones if you don’t try them all?

So trying something new can be as simple as putting something new in your mouth. Try it, you might just like it.

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