12 Ways To Help The World Feel Less Hopeless

  1. Don’t argue with people on the internet.
  2. Use your car horn to communicate with other drivers for emergencies, not to communicate your frustration with other things in life.
  3. Pretty much 100 percent of the time, people don’t want to be surprised by photos of male genitals.
  4. Try to be the first to yield the trail when you see a hiker or mountain biker coming.
  5. Clean the bathroom. Doesn’t have to be your bathroom, doesn’t have to be a complete cleaning. Maybe just pick up a paper towel and throw it in the trash can, even if it’s not yours.
  6. If you don’t have any money for the person with the “anything helps” sign, just ask them if they’re doing all right.
  7. Read a book that has perspective of years or decades, instead of more tweets and status updates reacting to the last few minutes or hours.
  8. Let someone onto the freeway.
  9. No matter what, don’t read the comments section.
  10. If national news gets you down, do something that helps locally.
  11. Instead of insulting someone for their opinion, ask a few questions to try to understand how they came to form that opinion.
  12. Instead of talking on your phone while talking to a server/barista/bartender/customer service representative, ask the server/barista/bartender/customer service representative how they’re doing. Actually, in general, if you treat people like people instead of like tasks, robots, or soulless internet avatars, you might find you have way more common ground than you assumed, and even if you don’t, you might discover that that person, although having different opinions than you on many subjects, is still a pretty decent human being who, like you, likes beer and/or likes bicycles and/or likes baseball and/or likes Star Wars and/or has kids they’re really proud of and/or has a parent or grandparent dying of cancer and deep down, probably doesn’t ever want bad things to happen to people, but, you know, the world is a complicated place. And maybe if we all tried listening instead of picking teams and bickering, we might be able to fix some shit.