Today Is Peace Day, So Here's 8 Cool AF Daily Habits For You
Do these and you’re literally making the world a better place.
2016’s been a tough one.
Seemingly ceaseless terrorist attacks, a refugee crisis and the resultant rally of the far right movement, deaths of innocent black lives and the loss of trust in a nation’s police force, and a man with a lethal tongue being a real contender for the White House.. But all that doesn’t mean we’re doomed. Today is World Peace Day, and though such a prospect seems as implausible as Trump making America great again, we have the power to make a difference.
Forget the international treaties, foreign aid, and ceasefire negotiations and focus on the subtle, everyday behaviour of peace. Here are 8 examples of cool AF habits that you can do to make the world, and this hellhole of a year, a better place to live in.
1. Make new friends
Squads are like an old hoody - familiar, frayed, and have a stink to which you’ve grown immune. Now, I’m not saying you should get rid of your hoody. But maybe get a side-piece? One you normally wouldn’t consider? To clarify, we’re back to humans now. Making new friends, especially with people that you are ‘meant to dislike’, is the most spectacular FU to stigma and stereotypes.
Take The Peace Factory - a social online movement that connects people over the Middle East, who are led to believe by the mass media that they should be enemies. The organisation is all about re-humanising people “from the other side” and its success speaks for itself.
2. Listen to different perspectives
There are two kinds of people; those who put themselves in another’s shoes and those who take off their own shoe and stuff it in the other person’s mouth.
A lot of us are guilty of dismissing opinions that differ from ours, often because instinct directs us to defend our beliefs. But to listen to another person with the intent to understand, rather than answer, is an undervalued trait that can go a long way in bettering communication and our perception of the world.
3. Stand up for people
When Donald Trump Jr. compared refugees to poisoned skittles, do you know what Twitter users did? Threw the skittles at him and told him to taste the freakin’ rainbow!
Everyday we’re faced with instances in which we either can sit down and look down or stand up and speak up. It’s wrong to demonise the many because of the actions of the few, and though we aren’t in a position to be able to spark great change, we can make the decision to change lives one at a time.
4. Don’t troll
Psychologists call it the ‘online disinhibition effect’ when people, seduced by anonymity and lack of repercussion, behave in a way they wouldn’t in real life. It’s more commonly known as ‘being an ass’.
It’s great if cyberspace allows you come out of your shell, but if you’re using your newfound confidence to troll people, then get back in there - we don’t want you. Feelings don’t cease to exist online and a person doesn’t stop being human. So don’t treat them as if they aren’t. Compassion should have no bounds, least of all a keyboard and a screen.
5. Don’t hold a grudge
When someone stabs you in the back, do you; a) stab them back, b) hold a grudge or c) forgive and forget? The correct answer is C. Revenge and grudges come at the expense of your recovery. Holding onto hate grants the person responsible a continued existence in your life and causes you to relive the betrayal time and time again.
Every situation is unique, but the answer is always forgiveness - whether it’s because the person deserves another chance or because you deserve to move on and be happy. To forget what they did is not to absolve them, but to realise their eye isn’t worth yours.
6. Say nice things
You know that feeling you get when someone compliments you? It’s like, you feel really special but you also want to die immediately? We all deserve to feel that. So take the time to show family and friends that you love and appreciate them, pay a stranger, or multiple strangers, a compliment (but try not to be a creep about it), and try to say something positive to yourself every morning.
Never underestimate the power of a kind remark. It’s a muggle’s magic.
7. Don’t compare yourself to other people
There will always be someone with more erotic food porn than you, someone who takes the perfect selfie in fewer attempts than you, but there will never be another you. Instagram blurs the line between entire truth and the most flattering version of it, causing us to disregard our own beauty and lust after a life that isn’t entirely real.
The only person you should ever strive to be is a better version of yourself because you have something that no one else can offer. And as soon as you begin to love yourself more than a stranger online, you will find peace in your own skin and with others.
8. Share the spotlight
Imagine you’re a lone log and someone starts a fire with you. Now imagine the person adds more logs to the fire. It burns brighter, right? That doesn’t take away from you - you’re still THE log - but it does create a better situation.
Well, the same applies to life. Giving other people the opportunity to shine is one of the greatest gifts we can give. We all want to be acknowledged from time to time, and there’s no better way than shifting the light onto someone who was stuck in the shadows.
This article was originally published on MTV Voices.