Since it’s about a month away from my birthday, and I am, you know, turning a whole year older and all of that, I find myself contemplating life and growth and how to be a better person without having to stop binge watching The Voice UK. And a few things came to mind … you know, things that some would call common sense. I call the list “10 ways to be lekker”… because being a crappy person is so out of season and no one wants to walk around feeling like you’re invincible when everyone else is wondering why you look like you need a hug and a Coke. Here’s a list of things I remind myself everyday:
1. Don’t be that person who tries to debate with someone on a Facebook post or in a Whatsapp chat. Like, seriously, the other person is not sitting there with bated breathe, hoping you’re going to say something that will change their minds. They can’t hear your tone or context. They cannot see your facial expression. In some cases they probably don’t even read your extra long essays. (I know I don’t.) So the debate usually ends up being a waste of time and brain power. Arguing with someone on Facebook is such a time suck because people are usually in it for the long haul! They are rife for the debate and they WILL NOT STOP until you do. Be lekker, don’t be a troll.
2. If people have ish going on, and you know about it, you don’t have to do anything because guess what, Winona Rider, their information is not yours to steal and share without their permission! I’m sure we’re all pretty over the village gossip who finds joy in sharing about other people’s challenges and pains. And yes, telling your mother/sister/family member under the guise of “ag shame” still makes it gossip. Be lekker man, Winona, don’t be a gossip.
3. How about let’s not take our issues to social media, and make subliminal status updates about it. Well, this is something I remind myself often. Stay classy. Don’t air your arguments where the world can see them. It’s the year of the mature adult conversation. You know, saying things like “I feel this way when you do that” face to face, instead of posting something putrid about someone, without really naming them. Be lekker, don’t be a subliminal update poster.
4. And while we’re on the topic, you don’t have to like everything that everyone says. I often remind myself that everyone has their own opinions and different ways of doing things and hey, Martha Stewart, guess what, THAT’S OKAY. If we all had to be a carbon copy of you, this world would be very bland. No offense. Be lekker, don’t be a robot.
5. Stop re-sharing fake news in your Whatsapp groups and on social media. It’s not kwaai man! I mean, you’re spreading mass hysteria, and you can’t even prove that it’s right. Can we leave that type of news sharing to, you know, the actual newspaper? Be lekker, don’t be dramatic.
6. Don’t assume that everything is always about you. Man, the way I’m tired of people reading something and thinking that it’s shade thrown at them. And I’m not immune, yo! I do this too! Its so not lekker. Like, what if your friend Maggie simply felt like posting a mullet hairstyle meme. What if Maggie did not even think about you and your mullet, while posting the meme. What if, and let this one sink in, the world did not revolve around you?! Be lekker, don’t be a narcissist.
7. Stop being the friend/family member who encourages someone else to player hate. If your friend is out of line or being unreasonable, say the thing! I mean, we’ve all been there – we know exactly how hurt and anger can turn a mole hill into a mountain. True friendship does not mean agreeing with everything your friend believes. I want my friends to lovingly correct me if I’m wrong. Why would you willingly want your friend to make wrong decisions?! Be lekker, don’t be a bad friend.
8. If you see someone else doing really well in their field of interest, tell them they are doing a good job man. I mean, congratulate them instead of talking them down to your family and your friends at the office and your neighbours uncle. I get it, maybe selling bicycles online is not your thing. That’s okay. But if Patricia is doing well with her online bicycle sales, then more power to her and her success! You don’t understand online bicycle sales, that’s why you’re selling carpets. Be lekker, don’t be a hater.
9. Perception is a BIG word (and I’m not just saying so because I struggled to spell it for a minute). I mean, your perception of someone else can totally influence how you respond to them. Sometimes you need to take a minute to remember that (que John Legend) “we’re just ordinary people!” We’re all on a journey and we respond to things differently. I cannot control the next person. I am only in control of myself and my responses. So just be lekker, don’t be unreasonable.
10. And lastly (this one is for free), if you ever find yourself offended for some absurd reason, justifying your silly offense with silly reasoning, instead of name calling and insulting someone else, rather take a selah moment. Say a prayer. Stay classy. Look yourself in the mirror and say: Hey, be lekker man, don’t be offended for stupid things. Life is too short and there are way better things to be concerned about!
So these are the sweet, sweeet reminders when I feel like I need to remember the point of it all (especially now, in my old age, right?) At the end of the day, being lekker is the opposite of being miserable, difficult to get along with, and bitter. And we all know which one we’d rather be.