Ok, I know a post on reasons you should be more considerate of others sounds horribly sanctimonious and, in all honesty, quite boring. In fact, I’m lucky you’ve even got this far; but don’t give up on me yet! The reason I wanted to write this now is because it’s Christmas, a time of year where we’re meant to be generous, charitable and hopeful. Of course, most of us aren’t – we get caught up in family dramas, festive outings and wanting, wanting, wanting. I think we shove other people out of the way to get at what we want even more than usual; the best Christmas lights, the last discounted ham and the coat that you absolutely must have and there’s only one left in your size so everyone else needs to MOVE. If you aren’t like this, then I admire you – but I think most of us are, whether we want to admit it or not. So, because it’s Christmas, here are the reasons you should be more considerate of others (and I’ll try and spare you the sanctimony).
1. ‘Those Less Fortunate’
In a post filled with reasons you should be more considerate of others, I wanted to include this as my first point because, since living in London, I notice ‘those less fortunate’ every day. At school, I was told to think of those ‘less fortunate than myself’ every Christmas. I didn’t understand what that meant – not really. I don’t know what it’s like to spend Christmas night outside, with nowhere to go and a New Year’s Eve with no hope for what’s ahead. I walk past an elderly homeless man every day and I hate it but I don’t know how I can do anything about it. I think the first step would be ALL of us acknowledging the problem; I watch people like me, people with jobs and Christmas presents and warm homes, walk past him without even seeing him. Their eyes slide over him like they would a boarded-up doorway in a row full of open shops. Few people feel powerful enough to do something about it on their own, so we pretend it isn’t happening. They stop existing to us, at least in any form we can relate to.
2. Bad Days
When someone is rude to me in a shop, or when someone shoves their way past me on the tube, my instant reaction is anger. Recently, however, I’ve been feeling a bit guilty for reacting like that. Sure, some of those people may just be arseholes – but I think most of them were just having a bad day. I know I’ve been rude to other people when I’ve been in a bad mood. My resolution this year is to try and let things like that wash over me. If a stranger has been rude to you in some way, give them the benefit of the doubt – we all have those moments.
3. Walking in Someone else's Shoes
Using all the clichés today, aren't I?! Well, similarly to what I said above, you can never really know what's going on inside someone else's mind - what they thinking, who they're missing, what they're worrying about. Maybe they really need someone to give them a break today. Sometime either carelessness or kindness from a stranger can completely change the the light of your day, so think about that when you're dealing with other people.
4. We All like Considerate People
Everyone likes to be liked. If we were honest with ourselves, most of us spend a considerable amount of time trying to get other people to like us and worrying when they don't. Think about the people YOU like - the ones you talk to about your problems, the ones you can rely on. They're considerate people - and all of your relationships will benefit if you are, too.
5. Little Things
Being more considerate of others won't involve a big change of your part - it's the little things that can make a huge difference. We can each make someone else's day better by being polite to them in a queue, or smiling when you catch their eye on the tube.
6. Positive Attitudes
I can't open a magazine now without seeing something on the power of positive thinking, etc, etc. But I think, rather than thinking positively about ourselves, we'd benefit a lot more from always trying to think positively of other people. If we stopped worrying about everyone else, - especially thinking that other people are out to get us - we'd have more time to concentrate on ourselves.
7. It's All about You
Being nice to someone else can make you feel happier, too! If you're feeling rubbish, stop thinking about yourself and start thinking about someone else. It'll take your mind off it and I guarantee that it will make you happier, even if it's only for a short while.
I'm not normally one for sugary sweet posts, but I'm sick of barging past each other without ever really seeing what's around us and - of course - it's Christmas, so it's the perfect time to asses the way we treat other people. Do you think, generally, we need to be more considerate to others?