Make people happy

Thursday 21 January 2010, 6.00am HKT


This is the new year—at least for those of us living stranded in the Far East. A couple of friends and I got talking about resolutions – you know, those famous “round tuits”. Yes, those things, as in “I don’t have time to get round to it.”

Here’s a hundred of them for your fun and dilectation (and in no particular order):

The Noughties

01. Make it easy for others. (I tell you, you’ll score big time with this one.)

02. Hold a door open for a stranger.

03. Invite someone to lunch.

04. Compliment someone on his or her appearance.

05. Ask a co-worker for their opinion on a project.

06. Bring cookies to work.

07. Let someone cut in during rush hour traffic.

08. Leave a waitress or waiter a big tip.

09. Tell a cashier to have a nice day. (And keep the finger to yourself for a change!)

10. Ring your parents. (Mind you, they might not want to answer you!)

The Tenties

11. Let someone know you miss them.

12. Treat someone to a movie.

13. Let a person know you really appreciate them. (We know who you are!)

14. Visit a retirement home.

15. Take a child to the zoo. (When was the last time you yourself was taken there?)

16. Fill up your spouse’s car with petrol.

17. Surprise someone with a small gift.

18. Leave a thank-you note for the cleaning staff at work.

19. Write a letter to a distant relative.

The Twenties

20. Tell someone you thought about them the other day. (Something nice, I hope.)

21. Coin up a stranger’s parking meter before time expires.

22. Bake a cake for a neighbour.

23. Send someone flowers to where they work. (Anytime is a good time …)

24. Invite a friend to tea.

25. Recommend a good book to someone. (Not porn, please.)

26. Donate clothing to a charity.

27. Offer an elderly person a ride to where they need to go.

28. Bag your own groceries at the checkout counter.

29. Give blood.

The Thirties

30. Offer free babysitting to a friend who’s really busy or just needs a break.

31. Help your neighbour rake leaves or shovel snow. (If you live in a snowy kind of place.)

32. Offer your seat to someone when there aren’t any left.

33. Help someone with a heavy load.

34. Ask to see a store’s manager and comment on the great service.

35. Give your place in line at the supermarket to someone with only a few items.

36. Hug someone in your family for no reason.

37. Wave to a child in the car next to you.

38. Send a thank-you note to your doctor.

39. Repeat something nice you heard about someone else.

The Forties

40. Leave a joke on someone’s answering machine. (Not your boss, perhaps.)

41. Be a mentor or coach to someone.

42. Forgive a loan.

43. Fill up the copier machine with paper after you’re done using it.

44. Tell someone you believe in them.

45. Share your umbrella on a rainy day.

46. Welcome new neighbours with flowers or a plant.

47. Offer to watch a friend’s home while they’re away.

48. Ask someone if they need you to pick up anything while you’re out shopping.

49. Ask a child to play a board game, and let them win.

The Fifties

50. Ask an elderly person to tell you about the good old days.

51. During bad weather, plan an indoor picnic with the family.

52. Buy someone a goldfish and bowl.

53. Compliment someone on their cooking and politely ask for a second helping.

54. Dance with someone who hasn’t been asked.

55. Tell someone you mentioned them in your prayers. (Even if you’re an atheist!)

56. Give children’s clothes to another family when your kids outgrow them.

57. Deliver extra vegetables from your garden to the whole neighbourhood.

58. Call your spouse just to say ‘I love you.’

59. Call someone’s attention to a rainbow or beautiful sunset.

The Sixties

60. Invite someone to go bowling.

61. Figure out someone’s half-birthday by adding 182 days, and surprise them with a cake.

62. Ask someone about their children.

63. Tell someone which quality you like most about them.

64. Brush the snow or leaves or whatever off of the car next to yours.

65. Return your shopping cart to the front of the store.

66. Encourage someone’s dream, no matter how big or small it is.

67. Pay for a stranger’s cup of coffee without them knowing it.

68. Leave a love letter where your partner will find it.

69. Ask an older person for their advice.

The Seventies

70. Offer to take care of someone’s pet while they’re away.

71. Tell a child you’re proud of them.

72. Visit a sick person, or send them a care package.

73. Join a Big Brother or Sister program. (Whatever the hell that might be.)

74. Leave one or two sweets on a co-worker’s desk.

75. Bring your child to work with you for the afternoon or weekend.

76. Give someone a recording of their favourite music.

77. Email a friend some information about a topic they are especially interested in.

78. Give someone a homemade gift.

79. Write a poem for someone.

The Eighties

80. Bake some cookies for your local fire or police department.

81. Organise a neighbourhood cleanup and have a barbecue afterwards.

82. Help a child build a birdhouse or similar project. (Check with the authorities first!)

83. Check in on an old person, just to see if they’re okay.

84. Ask for the recipe after you eat over at someone’s house.

85. Personally welcome a new employee at work and offer to take them out for lunch.

86. While in a car, ask everyone to buckle up because they are important to you.

87. Let someone else eat the last slice of cake or pizza.

88. Stop and buy a drink from a kid’s lemonade stand.

89. Forgive someone when they apologise.

The Nineties

90. Wave to someone looking for a parking space when you’re about to leave a shopping centre.

91. Send a copy of an old photograph to a childhood friend.

92. Leave a pint of your spouse’s favourite flavour of ice cream in the freezer with a bow on it.

93. Do a household chore that is usually done by someone else in the family.

94. Be especially happy for someone when they tell you their good news.

95. Compliment a co-worker on their role in a successful project.

96. Give your spouse a spontaneous backrub at the end of the day. (Your spouse! Your spouse!)

97. Serve someone in your family breakfast in bed.

98. Take a child to a ballgame.

99. Make a donation to a charity in someone’s honour.

The Hundred

100. Ask someone if they’ve lost weight.

(Originally 28 Dec 2009)

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