Last night as I was getting ready for bed, I started having these super existential thoughts. Perhaps it was because I had just witnessed a (fake) funeral on last season’s Sherlock finale, or perhaps it had something to do with the impending big four-o—and finding myself with a (temporarily) empty nest.
What’s Important Is Now
Regardless, I started thinking about life and death and what it all means. I’m a Christian, but I certainly (like most other honest Christians) sometimes wonder what happens when we die. I definitely want to believe that our souls will live on when our bodies fail—reconnecting with all the other souls in the universe to do something amazing.
But what if this is it? Am I living my life in a way that promotes goodness in this world? Could I be kinder and warmer? (Yes!) Could I be more mindful of others’ needs? (Yep.) Could I be more selfless? (Definitely.)
Then it dawned on me. It doesn’t matter what happens next. What’s important is now. What we do today makes all the difference. So being a good human being is a win-win situation. It helps with the here and now and the afterlife.
13 Ways to Be a Good Human Being
I’m sure you are already a decent human being, but here’s a list of ideas if you’re looking to take it up a notch (as I am!):
- Practice random acts of kindness
- Give warm hugs and smiles freely
- Consume minimally
- Do meaningful, honest work
- Look people in the eye
- Listen more than you talk (James 1:19)
- Remember people’s names (and their kids & pets)
- Ask questions that encourage sharing
- Volunteer your gifts for a good cause
- Compliment people out loud
- Slow down and pay attention
- Be respectful toward all people
- Take care of yourself!
Being a good person should trump everything: money, prestige, recognition, “success.” If we can forget everything else and just be good human beings, that will take a lot of pressure off. I’d like to try it.
P.S. I love Nickleback’s If Today Was Your Last Day. Listen to this song every now and then as a reminder to live your life fully—every day. :)
Photo Credit: Javier Gonzalez @ RGBStock.com.