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Travel Penguin (the dear!) recently posted about a teacher of his who listed fifteen things you could do to to facilitate kindness and dilute the acrimony that is America.  I thought I would give this a try as I am feeling rawther loathsome. 

1. Tell a joke – I’m afraid I don’t tell jokes well but here it goes: I went to see a podiatrist; he turned out to be a psychiatrist. He said there’s something terribly wrong with you !You nose is running and your feet are smelling!

Tell me in the comments if that brought you happiness.

2. Call a friend or a relative – I do this regularly whether they want me to or now; sometimes they call me. Brother #3 recently called to propose we both get an advent calendar consisting of baby bottles of bourbon.  That is indeed brings happiness. 

3. Give a compliment to a stranger. This morning I almost told the bagger at Albertsons he has the cutest butt I’ve seen in ages but only thanked him for his service. This one didn’t make me happy. 

4. Make up with anyone you’ve fallen out with (even if you feel it’s their fault) – This is continuously done by necessity; Someone appreciates it. 

5. Give someone a hug.  The bagger wasn’t happy.

6. Leave a happy note for someone to find.  E-flat is better than A-minor. 

7. Email an old teacher who has made a difference in your life. Now where on earth does one find such a thing I wonder?  I would think they wouldn’t know who I was and immediately suspect me as a stalker. 

8. Hand-write someone a letter, and mail it.  I am pleased as punch to report I did three this weekend. I thanked them for the Halloween treats. 

9. Smile at someone on the street, just because. The bagger – whose name was Robbie – seemed to appreciate this until I opened my mouth.

10. Talk to the shy person who’s sitting by themselves at a party. This one may be a bust. I am that person and I am never invited to parties.

11. Help a parent with their baby stroller.  No way Jose! Around here they call the cops just for looking at your stupid stroller with its changeling-brood. 

12. Help someone struggling with heavy bags.  I do this all the time at work; I give out tips for better sleep hygiene. 

13. Stop to talk to a homeless person. Often they cut to the chase and put out their hands and ask for my money or they tell me they ‘aren’t for sale’. This is confusing. 

14. Give up your seat to someone on the bus or train. I can’t remember when I last rode either but this is just common manners – not a source of happiness.  One doesn’t applaud the tenor for clearing his throat. 

15. Give someone a book you think they’d like. If Spo-fans want to enter their names in a comment saying “I’m in!” I will erect a book-lottery from which I will draw a name and send the fateful winner one of my favorite tomes. I don’t know if this makes you find happiness but it makes me smile.  

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