THE BLOG
11/13/2012 03:38 pm ET | Updated Jan 13, 2013

Top 10 Dos to (Help) Improve the World

I was all ready to write a rant about my life. However, as I began writing about how bad I think I have it, it occurred to me that everyone is dealing with his or her own types of bad stuff.

I then read that Nov. 13-20 is World Kindness Week. It got me thinking about kindness, so I watched this fun video:

WATCH: Amy Krouse Rosenthal's Thought Bubble: Kindness

So, I decided to write my top 10 Dos that could help make this world a better place and maybe help us all to get along. None of this is political, I promise.

1. Do slow down. This goes for general day-to-day life and also while driving. If you see someone walking, especially with a child, slow down and let them go first.

2. Do hold the door open for people -- all people. When I was pregnant, I was treated as if I were a princess by many strangers. But once my kids were on the outside of me, I was treated as if I were a menace. Pretend everyone is pregnant (smile).

3. Do smile at people. Look them in the eye too. If nothing else, it will make them wonder what you are up to.

4. Do be nice to all people in the service industry including restaurant servers, grocery workers and bus drivers. Chances are they are working very hard at a very low hourly rate. And they are probably dealing with a lot of other things besides your immediate want or need.

5. Do teach your kids that the most important trait is to be kind and generous. It's more important to be kind and generous than it is to be smart, funny, rich or famous.

6. Do give people a break. We all deserve it. I remember a few years ago I was running a few minutes late to a client meeting. I called ahead to let him know. The client said, "Take your time and be safe. Don't rush. We'll be here." He didn't pull a power card. I have used his line ever since if someone is running late to see me. Really, what difference does it make?

7. Do send nice emails. Never use all capital letters and exclamation points if you are upset. Don't "demand" or "require." Quench that fire if someone else has sent you a snippy email. Use words like: Please, Thank you, I understand, I will try, I'm sorry, I misunderstood. Pretend your mother will read your email and see if you still want to send it.

8. Do have empathy. People need it all the time. And they don't need help finding the bright side of a bad situation. After my mother died, I had a peer write in a card to me, "At least you still have your boyfriend." If you don't know what to say, just say you are sorry for what they are going through. That always works.

9. Do say hello to someone (especially a child) with special needs or a medical condition. Look them in the eye. Ask his/her name and what they like to do. Even if they are nonverbal, they and their parents will appreciate you treating them like any other person.

10. Do have faith that we can make this world a better place. This is not a dress rehearsal. We only get one shot at life, and apathy or cynicism will only waste our time here. So I'm going to try harder to make it better and I hope you will too.

I'm sure I'm missing some really great Dos. Feel free to send them to me, so that I can add them to my life list.

PS: We did take my son Jude to an amazing (and very kind) doctor in Baltimore. If you want to know about it, here is a link to his medical blog. I think I write all this detail down so that I will remember it more than anything. So, fair warning, it's pretty long.

Here's to life and my attempt to leave the world a better place than I found it. To my beautiful children, kind and strong in unique ways. To my generous husband who always puts us first. To my wonderful, thoughtful and giving friends and family who have made me feel loved more than I ever thought possible. Thank you.

My poem:

Kindness
An art
That is taught
From one to another
Humankind