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5 Simple Ways to Be a Decent Human

Brianna is a working mom with 25 years of general life experience. She has a little girl and several exotic pets.


We have all encountered some not-so-great people in our lives—those who do things that really get under our skin and make us wonder how they’ve lived this long. In this article, I write about the different ways you can be a good addition to the human race.

1. Treat Servers and Other Workers With Respect

The worst thing to experience is a rude customer of any kind. Those who complain way too much and won’t take a polite no for an answer, and those who like to speak with a manager anytime something small goes wrong. If an employee or server tells you that they can’t do something, there is usually a reason since their whole job is about making a customer happy. If a restaurant runs out of something, don’t get mad at the server. The shipment is probably running late.

At my place of employment, our power went out one evening. A large, muscular man approached our cashier and demanded a refund. We couldn’t give him one because we had no way to open the register, so he got angry and threatened the 17 year old cashier. He was escorted from the building with no refund and an embarrassed family trailing behind him.

If you want something, a little kindness and patience goes a long way. If you’re nice, the employee will do everything in their power to help you. Just don’t be a jerk and you'll be fine.


2. Don't Be "That" Person

We all know the type. They come in 30 minutes before closing and just sit and chat or walk around past closing time. If you need to get a bite to eat, order it to go. If you need to purchase something right before closing, make sure you’re done before they close. Just keep in mind, if you stay too long, they may confront you and ask you nicely to leave. If they do, don't get mad. Just pay and leave. A good tip is to always call ahead to check for closing times and be understandable if you don’t make it in time.

Almost every night, we have that one family that comes in about 30 minutes before we close and plays mini golf. It's usually a smaller family, but it seems like they decide to take their gold old time. One night I was working an hour and a half past our closing time and company policy says we can't kick people out once they're in. I was slamming doors by the time they left.


3. Use Crosswalks

It may seem like people should already know this, but unfortunately for the majority of us slightly more intelligent beings a lot of people don't, or they just don't care. In a lot of states it's illegal to cross the street without a cross walk. Also, if there is a light, make sure to wait for it to change and check that it's safe to walk. Along the same lines, if you're waiting at a cross walk, please don't have a stroller or dog too close to the road. It scares drivers and could cause an incident that nobody wants to happen. Bolting out in front of a car is not the safest or smartest action. Please be safe and keep others safe by following street laws.

I can't tell you how many times I've almost ran over people just running out into the middle of the street five feet away from the nearest crosswalk. It's just plain irritating and I'm usually fuming by the time I get to the parking lot.

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4. Don't Get Mad at Parents With Screaming Children

They are trying their best. They also understand how annoying screaming kids are since they have to deal with them on a 24/7 basis. They know how their little one will affect the mood around them and are most likely trying to get in and out as quickly as possible.

If parents waited until their child was having a good day and knew that they wouldn't be throwing a fit in the store, they would never be able to go to the grocery store or do anything in general. I've tried the "leave if your kid is screaming" thing and that is even more annoying. In my experience, if you take them out and wait for them to stop, there is a high chance the cycle will just happen over and over again until everything in your cart has spoiled. Give parents a break.


5. If You're Sick, Stay Home

Illness is something that should always be treated carefully. When you go out, remember that there are children, elderly, and other adults that could have a much weaker immune system than you do. If they catch what you have, they may take a much longer time to recover or even, in the most drastic cases, die. It's also very unpleasant for people around you to listen to you hacking up a lung for 45 minutes while they try to serve you coffee. Just please, try to stay home if at all possible and if you have to go out, please do so with caution. Wash your hands regularly, cover your coughs and sneezes and carry sanitizer with you.

My daughter and I recently went to the movie theater, and two days later we both came down with RSV which apparently stays in your system for 6 weeks. There was a very good chance we would've gotten it anyway, but it may not have hit as soon as it did if that person just stayed home.


Are You a Good Human?

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. When Crossing the street in a highly populated are you should:
    • Run out into the middle of the road without looking and pray you get hit by a car
    • Cross on a cross walk and look both ways before proceeding
    • Stand on the edge of the sidewalk until a car eventually swerves to avoid you and goes into on coming traffic
  2. If a child is screaming in the grocery store you should:
    • Yell at the parent
    • Yell at the kid
    • Yell at the management
    • Give the family some space and try to keep calm
  3. If you're sick you should:
    • Stay home and keep the germs for yourself like the greedy monster you are
    • Go out and spread the germy love making sure to infect anyone you meet
    • Sneeze on everything and everyone and cough on all the things
  4. If a store is closing soon, you should:
    • "Browse" without the intent of purchasing far past closing time
    • Get your stuff and leave ASAP
    • Yell at the employees and management about how stupid their hours are
  5. If something insignificant goes wrong while dining at a restaurant you should:
    • Complain loudly to your friends about how bad the service is
    • Leave a derogatory review on Yelp
    • Be respectful and understanding of the situation
    • Get real angry and yell at the manager

Answer Key

  1. Cross on a cross walk and look both ways before proceeding
  2. Give the family some space and try to keep calm
  3. Stay home and keep the germs for yourself like the greedy monster you are
  4. Get your stuff and leave ASAP
  5. Be respectful and understanding of the situation

Interpreting Your Score

If you got between 0 and 1 correct answer: Dude, you suck. Go read the article again.

If you got between 2 and 3 correct answers: I mean, you're average. I'd probably rethink some of your life choices.

If you got 4 correct answers: Yus girl/boy/other! You're getting there! A little added patience would be great though!

If you got 5 correct answers: YOU WON THE GOOD PERSON AWARD for having general decency and respect.

© 2019 Brianna Knight

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