Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

10 Ways To Be A Better Human

When it comes to life hacks as far as food preservation, decorating, or Lego storage, I’m not the best go-to person. But there are things I’ve realized are life-hacks when it comes to being a better human.

10 Ways To Be A Better Human

1. You are enough. So are most people. We each do what we can, when we can, and we’re not here to judge how often others volunteer at school, and we’re not here to judge ourselves on that either. But, volunteer when you can. It helps in ways none of us may never fully understand.

2. Treat yourself and others the way you hope the world will treat your children or those most precious to you.

3. Give hugs. Long, real ones. Hugs release the good stuff in our brains and remind us we’re all connected in ways we may never realize but can always appreciate.

4. Find ways to connect, even when you don’t say them aloud. Sitting at a traffic light, annoyed at your to-do list? Look at the driver in the car next to you. Wonder where they’re going, and how they’re feeling. Remember that each car on the annoying road has a driver who has a life full of complexities, worries, love, and (hopefully) laughter. Let them in front of you when they didn’t realize their turn was coming up so soon.

5. Listen to music with your eyes closed. Feel swept away. Appreciate art, and the making of it. Realize that just writing and reading is art appreciation. That art was a language before humans had language.  

6. Go outside and look at the night sky. Think about the lives in the homes around you. Are they happy? Are they grieving? Think about how we’re all brilliant and imperfect. Hug yourself, and let out the breath you’ve been half-holding.

7. You’ve heard this before – likely often – but it’s a big one. Remember that you don’t know anybody’s story. The lady being a jerk at Starbucks? Maybe she just found out her dad has Alzheimer’s or Dementia, and she has no idea how to help him. That she has no clue how to help herself through the heartbreak of it all. Caring for him, when he maybe doesn’t remember her name.

8. Help, even when somebody says they don’t need it. The frazzled mama at the grocery? Smile at her. See her over her screaming child. Pick up the dropped can of soup for her, make goofy faces with her kids in line. She’ll remember it always, even if it doesn’t seem so in the moment.

9. Remember that you’re not always right. Listen to others rather than shutting them out for their stupidity. Realize their stupidity comes from something – most likely fear. Try to understand what they’re afraid of, and empathize with that feeling before trying to educate them on how dumb they’re being.

10. Truly see one another. Realize if you’re frustrated by your kid not doing his homework that he’s frustrated, bored, or overwhelmed. Break it up.

Last night, my son and I were doing homework and he was getting discouraged and bored. I wanted to go sit on the couch and read a book, tell him to “Just $%&*%$ DO IT ALREADY because you’d be done if you were working each second you were complaining, and I’m so over this!” I almost did just that. For some reason though, I didn’t. I looked at his face, saw the little folds under his eyes that he’s had since he was born. Saw my childhood and remembered doing homework alone in my room. How hard it was to do homework at all! With toys and books and everything else in the house being better than homework! I knew he was struggling. I breathed in. Out. In again.

“How can I make this better for you?” And he told me. He just needed some silliness mixed in. He told me about this game he’d seen, and we played it. It’s simple. You simply pause and mute one another using the remotes for the TV, a box, or a pencil.

“Mute!” he said, and then, we wrote notes back and forth to each other and I swear they were almost better than verbal conversation. We laughed, and he eventually finished his homework. I want to remember this.

The actual notes are hard to read so:
Me: You are so good at math!
Him: Thanks 🙂
Me: Now please finish so we can sleep (tired)
Him: Why? Thug life with a sunglass face drawing
Me: I won’t answer again for two more problems. GO! *star*
Him: Finished two more problems then says WTFLIP
Me: DAYUM? Now, another?
Him: Maybe with a toothy sad face that he then says in parenthesis “not a bunny” (note this part we both laughed at a lot)
Me: I am so glad that you are my son.
Him: You tell me that every day (with a flat-lipped smiley and an “I know” air bubble
Me: Yes, I tell you this a lot but I never want you to wonder. You are amazing and also it is totally gross to lick my hair.
(after he actually licked my hair)
Him: Says who?
Me: MOM aka Boss.
Him: SORRY! with a weird face that I think is supposed to be horrified and sad.
Me: It’s ok. Finish your homework. You CAN do this (even though homework is dumb).
And stop trying to lick me please.
Him: NO!!!
Me: Please do not make me put pepper sauce on me. And you’re almost done. Just finish!

And finish he did. Plus, he stopped trying to lick me. I know that’s weird, but it was actually really fun.

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post (prompt is “My favorite life hack is…” The post is late going up because:
Two-hour delay for school today so I had to cram in work
Took him to swimming tonight then grabbed a quick bite, thinking I’d be home soon for my hour and 1/2 of free time while Robert took him to Cub Scouts but Robert’s working so I took him to Scouts, and we got home at the time I should’ve been publishing
Then, he has to finish this poetry contest tonight even though they haven’t talked at all about poetry at school and his poem is more of a story but I don’t care because homework is dumb…
THEN tomorrow is the 100th day of school and he wants to dress up as somebody 100 years in the future, which so far, means his Terminator hoodie has my old iPhone taped to the arm, and some tinfoil bits here and there attached to a paper towel tube… So yeah. Finish the sentence as I can, right?

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  • JT Walters - It is one of your better blogs, so great!!

    Self anger should also be added to this list. Pray for forgiveness for any transgression and then let go of the guilt and being hard on yourself. We are not here to judge ourselves either.

    As we forgive others so are we forgiven, many times without even asking.

    Love this FTSF post. Love to notes.

    Just love all of it.February 8, 2019 – 6:50 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Why thank you! I wrote it too quickly but agree that once in a while, we touch one another. Here’s to not judging ourselves and forgiveness to all of us, for everything. Love to you.February 8, 2019 – 11:18 pmReplyCancel

  • Yvonne Spence - Great suggestions – especially I liked Number 1. (Ach and all the rest too, all good.) And I loved the way you managed to let go of your frustration and find a fun way to help your son get his homework done.

    I also did not write about how to decorate, preserve food or store lego!

    Thanks for the link-up and for inspiring me to blog again!February 8, 2019 – 3:42 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Yvonne, that means a LOT coming from you who is so good at this stuff when it comes to compassion and forgiveness of self. I’m so very glad you linked up with this. And I love that neither of us has shite to say about Lego storage 😉February 8, 2019 – 11:20 pmReplyCancel

  • Lizzi - So awesome that he was so keen to do the writing back and forth. Way cool method of keeping engagement with the task.February 9, 2019 – 1:17 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - The back and forth writing notes has been pretty epic, and I can’t say I don’t love it. THANKS <3February 10, 2019 – 8:18 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - I love how you paused and asked, “how can I make this better for you?” I’m going to remember that…thank you!February 9, 2019 – 3:17 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - “How can I make it better for you” is huge in this house. Most of the time, he doesn’t know, but I usually (!) get an idea from something he cries about not knowing, if that makes sense.February 10, 2019 – 8:19 pmReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. JOhnson - I read the actual notes with no problem before I saw you’d written it out. That was funny. I remember having to take fun breaks when I felt like screaming about homework. I love the note game. I just glanced up and saw Emily’s comment. I am going to remember that too. I’m sure that very phrase melts away all the stress or a lot of it, whomever you say the words too. I like that a lot.

    I read your list twice. I’m going to take heed to your advice on all. Some I already do, some not enough and some not at all. I want to be a better human because I know being better is contagious and we need all of us to be better.February 12, 2019 – 12:09 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Campbell - Aw, I love that you were able to read the notes without a problem. They seemed light so I thought I should type them out too. And yeah, “How can I make this better for you” is something I need to remember all the time too. It’s easy to get stressed out and annoyed, especially with people who are wrong about something we totally and fully believe. Thanks too for reading the list twice! Some of these are reminders to myself, too. If I go outside at night, just for a minute, I feel so much more connected. I don’t always do it but I want to remember to. Here’s to all of us being better humans. <3February 12, 2019 – 7:50 pmReplyCancel

  • Christine Carter - Oh my gosh, how I love this ENTIRE post!! You nailed it, Kristi- all of those important things we need to remember every day. THANK YOU for reminding ME.

    And those notes are absolutely precious. The way you handled Tucker’s resistance to homework was beautiful, patient, wise, and so incredibly loving. Oh, you are such a good mama. And that boy is just so adorable.February 26, 2019 – 9:11 amReplyCancel

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