1. Mental illness as “crazy.” This is probably the worst thing you can do to somebody who’s having a battle from within. Logically we’d see the issue, assess it and try to make it better – not glare at it, shake your head and call it names. It can be disappointing to see how often society sums up a person’s struggle with a disease as “crazy,” and leaves it at that.
2. Our disturbing obsession with having electronic devices on us at all times. Here’s a general example of how things go these days, socially:
1. Invite someone to dinner on Facebook, exchange numbers if you haven’t already.
2. Text about said dinner plans.
3. Get directions to dinner plans with phone app.
4. Arrive, talk, take pictures of dinner with phone.
5. Search Instagram for the filter that best compliments your aesthetically pleasing sushi dinner.
6. Narrow down to top 4 filters.
7. Narrow down to top 3 filters.
8. Narrow down to top 2 filters.
9. Select THE filter.
10. Continue with dinner, checking phone every time you’re notified of someone else who liked the photo.
We have allowed this to become a norm, but it wouldn’t hurt us to at least have some respect for each other and just enjoy the moment being shared with a person, rather than try to capture it in a still frame and make it look pretty.
3. Young people with thoughts and opinions on stuff. No, teenagers haven’t lived long enough to grasp everything that they’ll learn by the time they’re 50, but whatever. I mean, sure it was only a handful of years ago that they were watching educational cartoons and learning multiplication tables, but why not listen to their theories and sentiments? Matter of fact, perhaps their less defeated, corrupted minds are what we need for a change in perspective. For starters, take baby steps by trying not to brush Jaden Smith’s tweets off without considering that maybe he’s actually saying something meaningful.
I Should Just Stop Tweeting, The Human Consciousness Must Raise Before I Speak My Juvenile Philosophy. Shouts Out To @TIME
— Jaden Smith (@officialjaden) October 5, 2013
4. Being late habitually. Punctuality is dead. My friends & I even schedule plans 30-45 minutes before we want everyone to arrive. Meet at 8:30 actually means I’ll see you at 9:00ish. It has become commonplace to make others wait around for your arrival and as long as we don’t call people out for wasting our precious, irreplaceable minutes, it’ll only get worse. I don’t play that; I’ll order and eat all of the appetizers without you if you think promptness is a game.
5. Cheating in relationships. If you cheat on someone you aren’t necessarily a terrible person, but your actions were crappy and you should feel bad. Relationships aren’t cheese trays that offer you the chance to taste a wide selection casually, though that sounds enticing and delicious. This isn’t like “Oops, I accidentally used the last of your soy milk because I ran out.” It’s a BIG deal to disrespect someone on the highest level, and it should be treated more like that and less like a casual, dismissible mistake.
6. Beliefs (or no beliefs). While it’ll always be much less work to dismiss than to try to understand, why is it that if you don’t share the same system or agree with a person it’s automatically time to mock and/or reject the things they’re saying? Listen and form an opinion or don’t, but remember that disagreeing doesn’t mean dismissing, and there are ways to have a constructive conversation while refraining from insulting a non-believer or believer’s intelligence.
7. Racism. It’s a universal problem and it’s very alive.
8. Sexism. It’s a universal problem and it’s very alive.
9. Homophobia. It’s a universal problem and it’s very alive.
10. Your own thoughts. When you really think about it we’re all here existing and big picture, we’re equally clueless. Yes, one person can have more information stuffed into their brain than the next, but too often we don’t trust our own human instincts, gut feelings, conscience and inner self. We’re often influenced by others, peeking our heads out to see what everybody else is doing despite the fact that nobody has all the answers and following suit is a killer of creativity and individuality. When your brain has those distinct, rare thoughts you’ve got to embrace ‘em. Tossing your own nuggets of brilliance to the side is a habit that can turn into a dismal, copycat lifestyle if you’re not careful.