This has unintentionally become my life’s motto (disclaimer: I am not perfect!). I love it because it's simple and it applies to everything. Don’t be a dick to your family, don’t be a dick to your friends, and don’t be a dick to your partner. It works in every situation. And, it’s really not that hard.
I used to be a bit of a dick. However, I was a teenager/young adult and really, who isn’t at that age. As I got older I started to observe the people around me. I started to look at my friends and loved ones and think, what makes me like these people? Is it because they’re funny? Is it because they’re smart? Nope, it’s because they aren’t assholes. These are people who would pick me up something because it made them think of me. People who would randomly surprise me for no reason other than they wanted to. People who told you to take the last piece of cake and meant it. I realized I too wanted to not be an asshole. So I started trying to emulate them. I tried to be more generous and less selfish; I started to donate money at Christmas instead of giving and receiving gifts. I tried to be more understanding; if they were telling me a story that bored me to death, I thought of how many of my ramblings they had listened to. I tried to be more accepting; if they accepted me with my ‘different’ looks, I could accept their different beliefs. Doing these things had an unexpected side effect, it made me happier. Positivity breeds positivity. Bonus!
As easy as it is to be a little bit nicer most of the time, sometimes it is excruciatingly difficult. For example, when people try and railroad your life, unintentional or not. It would be so easy in these cases to very publicly repay the favor and give them back a little bit of the suffering they gave you. It would feel sooooo good, but only for a moment. Then you have to sit with the fact that now you're a dick, just like they are. I toyed with the idea of letting loose on a few people before I left, but I am glad that I didn't. As crazy as it sounds, when somebody royally screws with me, I try and picture myself in their shoes. That doesn’t mean I just lay down like a doormat and take it. What it means is I don’t run up the mountain with my megaphone. Bitch to your friends, don’t bitch to the world (I’m talking to you cryptic tweeters and chronic vague-bookers). I try and talk to them and resolve the issue if possible. If that doesn't work, I just let it go. Well, I'm human, so I try my best to let it go. If I was in their position and made a mistake, I would expect some shred of respect from them. It's that golden rule you always hear about, something about how you want to be treated... At the end of the day, being the bigger person lets you sleep at night. God knows I love my sleep.
The world can be a really awful place and I think we could all do with a little bit more kindness and understanding towards each other. With all that being said, sometimes things do reach a point where people just need to be put in their place. When that happens I put on my bitch cap and bring out my rotten fruit.
Don't be a dick and have a picture of a flower.