So in my last post about “How to be a Decent Human Being” many of you thought I didn’t go far enough. Sure I covered things like don’t murder, don’t steal, don’t lie but I received some comments about how I really just ripped off the Ten Commandments.

So here are some additional steps you can take today to be better than a decent human being.

First, be grateful for everything that is given to you. When someone gives you something or buys lunch for you show them some appreciation. If you get a tacky sweater from Grandma and you could tell she thought it was nice, even if you don’t like it, think of the time she spent picking it out and thank her for that. Unless asked point blank there is no reason to say anything negative about it to anyone. Not to say you can’t return it or donate it to a clothing shelter. Selflessness 101 is next week.

Next, in your dealings with people, you might come across those that are somewhat pushovers. Don’t take advantage of people. Try to make every scenario a win-win situation. You will be rewarded for it.

On that same topic, you might meet people that you are able to joke with at their expense. A little is okay. But this might be a quiet introverted person that is hoping that you on your own will realize you are being a douche because they avoid confrontation. A good rule of thumb is to keep a 10 to 1 ratio. You can give people a little ribbing but make sure you have said about 10 good things about them so they don’t feel picked on. Go back and evaluate your relationship from time to time. Does this person close up around you? You are probably being a dickhead.

Also, respect your parents. If you are young realize they are not your peers and you really can’t have the same type of relationship with them.

Take when people offer. People feel the need to give. At one point in my life, I was working with homeowners in foreclosure. They would always ask if they could get me something. There was always this look on their face of disappointment when I said no. Eventually, I started asking for a glass of water even if I didn’t really feel like it. I noticed an overall improvement.

Lastly, adopt a philosophy of minimalism. You really don’t need to collect things. It might be a boost to the economy but in the course of human history, it is short-sighted. Take the long view, realize the world doesn’t need to be depleted of its resources. Be content with what you have. When you think of making an impulsive purchase, maybe sleep on it and ask yourself if you really need it. If you think the answer is yes, ask your spouse.

These aren’t hard fast rules but just some things I have been thinking about lately.