Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ideas for the Lazy and Kind

By Sifana Sohail

Simple. Smile at people.

Thank You
Most of the time, we have people doing things for us. Maids cook, clean, fold our clothes and make our beds. Chauffeurs drive our cars and (I hate this one) open doors. Wimps do our homework… nah, I'm kidding about this one. But you get my point. Often, we don't pause to thank them. Thanking someone for anything might not seem like much but one thank you goes a long way. It has this awesome instantaneous-cheering-up superpower.

Girls: This is for girls and girls ONLY. Guys should not try this, or else they might get stalker/eve teasing accusations thrown at them… which could land you in jail. Yeah. So girls, why not go out there and buy a bunch of flowers from the flower girl who always begs you to? Then hand them out to people you appreciate: parents, teachers, maids, darowans or even your friends. It gets sweet reactions.

Guys: Most guys would just stay away from flowers, but if you must do this then pick the recipients carefully. You know, like parents and grandparents and… yeah that's it.

Helping People
Anyone who looks like they need help could probably use it. It's very hard to offer to help people, especially if you don't know them. Sometimes people can react extremely rudely, so this is not for the fainthearted. But if someone looks like they need help why not show off? Whether it's a heavy box, a bottle cap, or something on a high shelf, every bit of help is appreciated. Even if they don't say thank you.

If you don't wanna seem too mushy, find a way to be tough about it. Threaten a bully picking on a small kid (if you're bigger than the bully). A jhari would be an awesome kind deed.

The Talking
Positive talking has a tremendous effect on people. If you're talking to someone, whether you're a customer, a friend, a fellow bus commuter or a stranger to them, find something to compliment them about: their shoes, hair, taste in music, bargaining skills anything. Do it genuinely and if they believe you, you're their person-of-the-day. In a place you know well, if you see someone who seems uncomfortable or shy, go and talk to them. Small chitchat in a situation like that feels like a lifesaver.

Okay, this one is just annoying. Plastic does not decompose easily. That was the understatement of the year. If you see trash, non-dirty trash, just pick it up and throw it away. It's a nice thing to do for the world. In the park, at school, around your house, if you see Mentos wrappers or Mr. Twist packets grab them and toss 'em in the bin. You don't have to buy disposable gloves and go around collecting garbage (that's supporting a cause), but if you see a piece of trash, it's not that hard to do the right thing. Even if it isn't your trash.

Putting People Before You
This one is something that is apparently supposed to be natural. Trust me, it's usually not. It doesn't mean you have to sacrifice yourself. Once in a while, when someone is in a bigger hurry that you are, let them cut before you in line. If you use public transport and someone else needs your seat, give it to them. If you don't want to, go halfway to your destination and then give it up. Selfish people can be kind too.

Bigger Projects
This is kind of like supporting a cause, but you don't have to be too active about it. Everyone feels some level of remorse and unhappiness when they see the countless number of beggars on our streets. We might not know how to help them or where to get started, but even simple one or two day deeds can help. There's the usual giving out clothes and blankets. You could hand out water bottles; most of them probably use contaminated water. The worst is little kids; you can't give them money, so why not get little things? “I'll buy three stickers for Tk 10, and here's a cupcake.” The smile on their face is worth it. You can get pretty cheap cupcakes at Almas. If you can, talk to them, find out what they like and surprise them one day with a gift.



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