1. Being able to differentiate between criticizing someone’s ideas and actions, and talking about the way they look. Understanding that making fun of someone’s appearance — aside from being incredibly cruel — only makes you look bad.
2. Making a concerted effort not to talk negatively about people when they’re not around, even if you’re angry with them and it would be a good little guilty pleasure to unload your concerns on someone else.
3. Not leading people on whom you know are much more interested in you romantically than you are in them. Taking the initial heat of saying “no” and being direct, rather than dragging things out and ultimately hurting their feelings even more.
4. Listening to people when they are having a hard time, and trying to imagine what it must feel like to be going through what they are.
5. Forgiving people who may wrong you — provided they have apologized and made real effort not to repeat the mistake — because you know that holding a grudge against them is pointless and damaging.
6. Being kind to yourself when you think about your own physical appearance, and understanding that it is only one small aspect of who you are overall.
7. Working on developing the parts of your personality which only get better with time.
8. Helping out your friends when they’re in a tight spot, whether that means giving them a place to crash for a little while or just being a shoulder to cry on when they don’t know what to do anymore. Not holding expectations that they are going to repay you promptly and perfectly in kind, because you know that is not why you offer such help.
9. Being the person that people know they can go to with their secrets, or their more serious problems.
10. Knowing when you are in over your head in terms of giving advice, and being able to say to someone “I’m not sure how to help you, but why don’t we work on finding you someone who knows more about this than I do.”
11. Understanding that much criticism is necessary and productive in life, and that there is something wonderful about being humble and open to learning better ways to live.
12. Not leaving nasty anonymous comments or messages for people just because you know you can get away with it — realizing that there are few crueler ways to spend your time, and that it will never resolve whatever underlying issue you’re addressing with your harsh words.
13. Encouraging people to follow their dreams, even if it isn’t exactly what you would have wished for them yourself.
14. Kissing someone the way you would want to be kissed, and touching their body in a way which lets them know they are loved and cared for.
15. Asking people what they want physically, or romantically, when you are in a relationship. Not being offended by the idea of being told how to love someone better, or understanding that no two people want exatly the same things.
16. Being kind to children.
17. Being kind to parents who are having a hard time with their rambunctious children while out in public.
18. Differentiating between people who are trying to change their circumstances, and people who are being complacent and lazy. Understanding that, though their circumstances may seem similar, they have every difference in the world between them.
19. Respecting everyone’s job and salary, even if you would not do the same work yourself. Never judging people based on how much money they make or what you feel that means they can contribute to the world.
20. Helping the people who are of no social or professional importance to you.
21. Answering a friend honestly when they ask your opinion on a significant other, or family problem, or big life change — doing it kindly, though, because you know that we often need the more harsh truths in life served with a little bit of sugar.
22. Not taking out your anger from the day’s small frustrations on the person you come home to.
23. Taking your time to do things the right way, instead of rushing through them to get finished early and not have to worry about them anymore. Understanding that doing things right the first time ensures not only that you will likely not have to do it again, but that you can be proud of what you have done.
24. Not basing your opinion of whether or not someone is beautiful on their physical appearance. Erasing the connections we have embedded in us between “attractive” and “superior,” and taking the time to re-learn how we look at everyone around us and what we believe they deserve in life.