You never know what people are going through. Depression, PTSD, anxiety could look like avoidance, anger, risk-taking, promiscuity, etc. Look out for friends, coworkers and loved ones who may be in pain. You don’t need to solve their problem, just allow for the possibility that they’re going through something. Try to give them the benefit of the doubt and not write off “bad” behavior as a character flaw. Offer a non-judgmental ear.
Jump in and help where help is needed. Don’t wait to be asked. Whether it’s clearing dishes at home or friend’s house or tasks at work. It could be something big like solves problem or little, putting paper in the copy machine at work.
"Surround yourself with people who trust and get YOU." - Josh Groban, High Point University 2018 commencement address.
Note, I love that quote because it speaks to having a tribe, a close group of friends. But it's also important to surround yourself with people who challenge you, who may not agree with you or have the same perspective as you do.
Institute “Family Night” a screen-free night of games and fun and togetherness. Can use these times for conversations about things you want to address / teach. Maybe make theme nights and build around a lesson so it’s fun and enjoyable.
Continue through school years.
Whether it’s a kid at school or a politician on tv, beware of someone who tries to blame the world’s problems on a minority or some other group of people who are different.
It’s a cheap tactic to get people riled up and afraid.
It’s okay to take a beat, a pause before you answer: “Hold on, let me think about how this is going to work...” I’ve seen a lot of mistakes or loss of confidence in an employee because they just blurted out a guess or starting off in the wrong direction only to have to go back- just because the plan hadn’t been thought through. It only takes a minute.
We don’t snoop. Never read a correspondence (email, letter, text, note, etc.) that is not intended for your eyes, or listen in to a conversation that is not intended for your ears. The right to privacy is sacred. Always respect people’s privacy and set the expectation that others do the same for you.
You can (and should) pray for help. But remember, you have to do your part too. Depending on the situation it could be a little or a lot, but don’t just sit back and expect to be rescued.
Moses had to dip his toe in the Red Sea before God parted it.
Ask for help, but do your part.
Choosing to take the easy way out will create a life that’s difficult, disappointing and dull. Don’t shy away from hard work. Mind, body, spirit, relationships, community engagement, serving others - all of these things require a ton of effort on your part. But the more you choose to invest your time and energy into what is important to you, the more your life will take shape. Take the easy way out and you’ll see things start to disintegrate. Hard work makes you who you are.
Default to "nice guy." Meaning it should require something significant for you NOT to be nice. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Cut them (and yourself) some slack. Life is hard. We're all in this together.
Take heart. There are lots of terrible things in the world - Poverty, disease, injustice, natural disasters...Thankfully, good FAR outweighs the bad: Love, Faith, Art, friendship, healing, creativity, community, innovation, beauty and renewal to name just a few. Focus on the good. Relish in the countless expressions of goodness. Work hard to preserve, protect, and advance them.
Talk about “don’t judge a book by its cover.”
People come in all shapes, sizes, appearances. “Clean cut” is an outdated and misleading notion. Be open to who people are on the inside, they’re pretty amazing if you give the a chance.
I want to talk about when NOT to join in. Friends are great and feeling like we belong feels so good. But there are times I hope you muster the courage not to go along: Never cause anyone or anything pain in order to be liked. Don't confuse cruelty for humor. Never participate in things that may cause harm to yourself or others.
Can you think of some things you want to make sure you don't go along with?