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9 Common Sense Things Everyone Should Know

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Alyssa is a wife, mom, and coffee enthusiast who loves sharing her favorite lifestyle tips with the world.


As we embark on a new year, I thought it would be a good idea to share a few basic reminders about life. The past couple of years have been chaotic and we've all been through a lot. That doesn't mean respect and common sense should be thrown out of the window though.

Below I've outlined nine common sense things I think everyone should know. Applying just one or two can go a long way, but following all nine will surely make life happier for you, others with whom you interact, and the planet itself.


1. Basic Manners

It never ceases to amaze me how many people in the world forget basic manners. Little effort is needed for a simple please, excuse me, or thank you, but all are powerful ways to show respect and kindness toward others. Hold the door open for the people behind you when entering or exiting a building; extend a helping hand if you see someone struggling to reach something on a shelf in the store; basically, pay attention to your surroundings and act accordingly.

It's refreshing when you see someone in today's world doing these simple things. When you show appreciation for the people who are providing a service for you, you could be making their day with a simple, "thank you for your help today" or "thank you for your time." Likewise, saying please when requesting something shows courtesy and respect for the other person.

Everyone should know and use basic manners in their interactions with other people, even with family members and friends, in the physical world, on the phone, and online.

2. Return Your Cart

One of my biggest pet peeves is when I pull in a parking lot and there are carts left all over the place. No one wants their car to get dinged with a cart and the people who are tasked with wrangling them up shouldn't have to do a parking lot sweep to get the job done. It doesn't take more than a minute to put the cart where it belongs. There's honestly no excuse why you shouldn't.

3. Never Discuss Politics Or Religion In Public

I grew up in a time where it was rude to discuss politics and religion with acquaintances and strangers. You just didn't bring it up. In recent years, it has become more socially acceptable and even encouraged to strike up conversations with people you may not know about sensitive topics.

Here's the thing. Political debate is important and intelligent conversation about controversial topics and issues can be enlightening. However, most people don't care what your views are and aren't going to change their own when confronted with a conversation they don't want to be a part of.

I think knowing your audience is key if these are the topics you want to chat about. Make sure, first of all, that you are able to have an intelligent conversation with facts and evidence, not allowing yourself to be overtaken with emotions. Also be sure that you are able to actively listen to ideas that differ from your own. Then engage in conversation with people who can do the same.

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Communication is important and it's through conversation with people that we can learn, grow, and challenge ourselves. Everyone has different experiences, knowledge, and backgrounds. But it's not worth it if the conversation turns into a nasty argument that ruins everyone's day.

4. Don't Text And Drive

The mere fact that people are still doing this is mindboggling. Unfortunately, I see it all the time. Texting and driving is dangerous, as is any type of multitasking while in the driver's seat. Checking social media, applying makeup, reading a book, or scrounging around trying to find whatever dropped to the floor are all bad ideas while you're in control of the car. Don't do it. It's not worth your life or anyone else's who happens to be unlucky enough to be next to you when you crash. You can do all those things when you safely arrive at your destination.

5. Don't litter

Is there anything more unseemly than someone tossing something out of their window in the car in front of you? It could be a cigarette butt, a cup, a fast food bag, absolutely anything. It's disgusting and could have severe environmental impacts. That cigarette butt could start the next wildfire. An animal could get caught in your empty cup and die. It's not hard to hold onto the trash until you reach your destination and can properly dispose of it. The same goes when you're out and about. If you're at the beach or a park that doesn't have a trash bin or dumpster, keep it in a bag and stash it in the trunk until you get home.

6. Obey Traffic Laws And Park Correctly

Many accidents could be avoided if stop signs, traffic lights, and lane markers were adhered. If you're running late, you should have left earlier. Getting pulled over or causing an accident will only make it worse and could have deadly consequences. Don't be impatient and keep your emotions in check when there's a lot of traffic. If you live in a city, it's par for the course. There's going to be a ton of people out at certain times of the day or year. Plan ahead.

When parking, be mindful. Everyone gets annoyed at that person: the one who insists on taking up two or more spaces. Likewise for handicapped spaces, small cars should not park in the vertical spaces meant for larger vans. Be respectful.

7. Dress Appropriately

I'm all about people expressing themselves and wearing what they want. However, it's important to understand that different situations and occasions require certain types of apparel. Before leaving the house, make sure you know where you're going and what you'll be doing. Dress accordingly.

8. Have An Emergency Kit And Emergency Plan

There are certain items everyone should keep in their car.

  • A first-aid kit
  • A tire wrench
  • A spare tire if you have the room
  • A blanket
  • A scraper and small shovel if you live in an area that sees snow
  • A pad of paper and pen in the glovebox to record anything you do with your car. (For example: write down the date and mileage each time you get the oil changed; mark when you change your headlights or windshield wipers; etc.)

It's also a good idea to have an emergency plan in place at your home for situations that could arise in your area. Everyone in your family should know how to escape the house and where to meet in case of a fire. Know what to do in case of a tornado warning or if an earthquake strikes.

9. Own Your Mistakes

We all mess up and make mistakes. It's a part of being human, how we learn, and grow into better people overall. When you mess up, own it. Apologize, learn from it, and apply that knowledge moving forward.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Alyssa

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