Five Easy Ways to Be A Good Person
1. Always take the flyer
People only hand out flyers for two reasons. The first is that they care about something and they want to share it with you. Even if you have no interest in Asian Language Camp or Bob’s Lawn Services or whatever else is on the piece of paper, just take it. It makes people feel good to be listened to, especially when it’s something important to them. And holding a piece of paper for the next 45 seconds is the simplest, most passive way to show someone you’re listening. Or pretend to someone that you’re listening. The second reason is that they have a totally crappy job. And the only thing worse than having a crappy job is being bad at a crappy job. And this person’s only task today is to get rid of their pile of CA$H 4 GOLD flyers so they can go to their probably asshole boss and tell him they’ve accomplished his menial task. So just help them feel like they’re not the worst and take the flyer. People whine like, “Wahhhh I don’t want the piece of garbage,” but it weighs the same as a feather and you can put your gum in it later. This is especially easy if you are a girl and you carry a purse. Because I’m a girl and 90% of the things in my purse are grocery receipts and old check stubs and I know all purses are like that and I know they only get cleaned out every two to six months. Take the flyer and always recycle.
2. If you’re going to make fun of someone, also take a moment to point out a reason they’re better than you.
I won’t tell you not to make fun of someone, because that’s silly. If no one made fun of anyone, we wouldn’t have stand-up comedians or reality T.V. Teenagers on the internet wouldn’t know there’s anything wrong with making duck faces. Everyone would assume that the Kardashians are serious business because no one would point out otherwise, and now we know that they’re only on the planet to make normal people feel like better people for having normal lives. Kim Kardashian lives a petty existence but she has better hair than you. All of you, and me, it doesn’t matter who is reading this.
Making fun of someone makes you feel better about yourself, which gives you a little self-esteem when you probably don’t have much, and having a little self-esteem will make you a better person. But also just take a minute and congratulate them in your head, or out loud if you’re ballsy, for something they trump you on. For example, once, a woman told me I look like Conan O’Brien. It made me upset and I cried a little bit after, but even though I’ve been calling her an idiot for the past 27 months, I really do look a lot like Conan when I don’t have any make up on, and so she’s got a pretty shrewd sense of observation.
If you think someone is stupid, just realize that you are also stupid. All of humanity is stupid. Humans are the stupidest species on the planet, and forget about scientific advancement and philosophy and art, here’s why. Because all other species do what they need to survive with what they’re given. Humans survive and then actively spend their lives undoing their hard work. By cooking meth, or planking on top of tall buildings, or blocking gun control reforms in the Senate. We are all in the same boat, don’t pretend like you’ve never dug for your cell phone in your purse while you are talking on your cell phone.
3. If you’re a lobbyist, a philanthropist, or a vegan, be quiet.
Just by being any of these things, you’re better than everyone else. You’re probably smarter, richer, or skinnier than most of the people you walk by on the street. And that’s fine. Own it. Work it. But you get bonus awesome points if you never ever talk about it. And you’re a little bit of an asshole if you walk around pointing out the good things you do all the time regardless of what they are. When you’re at a party and someone spills the beans that you give away all your money, your goodness is multiplied exponentially because you kept it a secret. When you’re at a party and you can’t eat what’s for dinner due to your dietary restrictions, just have the salad and say nothing. Your goodness is multiplied exponentially by not making the hostess feel like an asshole. When you’re at a party and some zealot gets riled up, your goodness is multiplied exponentially by realizing now is not the time or place. Just dance, it’ll be okay. Do-do-do, just dance.
If I ask you about it, talk all day. Talk deep into the night, please. I’m a great listener (I always take the flyer).
If you’re a lobbyist, a philanthropist, AND a vegan, I hope to never ever meet you, even if you are quiet. It has more to do with my own personal stuff, it’s not you, it’s me. It’s like staring into the sun.
4. Have one to five more seconds of patience than you normally would
Patience is completely underrated. It seems like a no-brainer what with patience being a virtue and all, but what’s more appealing and less understood is that patience is a life-saver. Patience is the reason your mother didn’t throw you into traffic. Patience is the thing that saved you from sending that bitchy text to the person you were talking ABOUT instead of the person you were talking TO. Crimes of passion are rampant in this day and age, but patience is the thing that keeps them from happening to literally everybody, all the time. Patience is the thing that made me just look up whether the correct term is “day AND age” or “day IN age” because I didn’t know, and I would rather do it well than do it quickly. And everyone should do it well instead of quickly. That’s what she said.
It’s like really cheap insurance. With a little more patience, you will do fewer things you know are stupid and more things that really mean something to you. It will also probably take care of number five.
5. Don’t get an infinity tattoo
Some day you’re going to have to explain to your kid why it’s meaningful to you, and you won’t have a good answer. You just won’t. At least not without sounding like a stoner. And you don’t want to condone shitty tattoos and marijuana use to your little one in the same conversation.