(Chinese) New Year Resolutions

Because this brilliant write up didn't come out in time for the angmo New Year, I thought I'd post it in time for the Chinese New Year. 

1. When you’re in a grocery store checkout line and the person behind you has one or two items, and you have a cart full of stuff, offer to have them go in front of you. Don’t make them have to work up the courage to ask you, in full fear that you might be a dick and say no — be the bigger person and offer.

2. When someone holds the door open for you, say thank you, instead of just acting as though they’re you’re personal slave who owed you some door-holding. A M E N .

3. If you want to compliment something, always make sure it’s something you actually think. Don’t just say “Oh, you look good,” or “Have you lost weight?” because you think it’s what they want to hear. Find something that you actually believe is true and focus on that.

4. When you post something to your blog or profile, make sure you credit it from where it came from, or at least make it a click-through. Don’t just steal people’s work willy-nilly. Please see below for full credits.

5. Don’t show up to a party empty-handed and then proceed to drink/eat all of their shit, especially if you knew the party was BYOB from the get-go. Given that most of us are working adults, the college excuse of "I'm broke" really doesn't cut it any more.

6. Don’t invite a bunch of randos to said party without first consulting the host and making sure it’s okay. (And understand that it may not be possible to invite all the extra people for logistical or personal reasons, and that does not entitle you to get mad at the party-thrower.)

7. Do that little wave when someone allows you to cross a street, or cut in front of them in traffic. It can go a long way in reducing the road rage.

8. Don’t wait for people outside of their stall/outside of the bathroom while they’re trying to poop. Don’t ruin their pooping experience like that, don’t be that guy. I suppose in the Singapore context this would be don't hover like a vulture over lunch tables at crowded spots in the CBD though I do understand this is near impossible at the fish soup stall at Arcade.

9. Don’t put on an egregious amount of perfume/cologne and then go into a small public area, such as a subway car or elevator.

10. If you’re going to write nasty things about someone on your Twitter or blog or whatever, don’t actually tag their name in it so they have to see that shit while scrolling through their tags or checking their interactions. It’s just not nice, and you know you’re only doing it to be bitchy and get a response. Grow up, don't even write the nasty on a public forum, as mama said, some things are better left unsaid.

11. Don’t walk down a sidewalk four-deep, and if you do, at least scoot out of the way for people who are trying to get by you. This is not an episode of Sex and the City, no one above the age of 15 actually walks that way anywhere in the world.

12. Wait for people to get off the subway car before you get on it. Don’t push everyone out of the way like some insane rugby player because you’re in such a hurry to stand up and hold a metal pole for 20 minutes.

13. Actually say “please” and “thank you” to cashiers at the various places you buy from, instead of just standing there on your phone, halfway acknowledging them just enough to put money in their hands and grunt in the affirmative when they ask if you want the receipt in the bag. Treat them like, oh, I don’t know, actual human beings.

14. Don’t make salespeople’s lives a living hell by trying a bunch of things on when you have no intention of actually purchasing anything, on top of leaving things in a crumpled pile in the dressing room for someone else to attend to. (If you say “Oh, that doesn’t happen,” you’ve never worked in retail.) Less relevant in a world where most of us online shop, but a good point to note nonetheless.

15. Chew with your goddamn mouth closed.

16. Work on being both a good guest and good host, meaning that you both offer something to your host when you are there to thank them and try to be as helpful/amicable as possible, and you make sure that you treat your guests with kindness and make them feel comfortable and welcomed.

17. Try food that other people cook for you at least once (unless you are allergic, of course), and be polite and grateful even if you have to decline eating the rest of it.

18. If you are in a couple and you end up, for whatever reason, going out with just one other person, make sure that they don’t feel like a complete third wheel by trying not to be too “couple-y” and including them in conversation and activities.

19. Give up your seat on the metro for the elderly or the disabled or a mother with her baby. Do it because you know it’s the right thing to do and so few people actually do it. Do it or be prepared to be publicly shamed on STOMP.

20. Give other people’s music a chance when they want to make you listen to something they really like, even if you’re sure that you won’t like it yourself.

21. Tip. I know it isn't mandatory in Singapore, but that extra couple of bucks goes a long way in making your wait staff's day. It's an especially good habit for watering holes you frequent.

22. Don’t make fun of people when out at an event, or wedding, or what have you for trying to dance. If they look awkward and uncomfortable, it was already likely extremely difficult for them to work up the courage to get out on the floor — and honestly, we could all afford to dance a little more in life. Don’t stamp out their little flame of rhythm. Point #22 is particularly dear to me as (1) I have a lot of weddings to attend this year, and (2) I dance like a tribal warrior, foot stamping, arm waving and all, so don't mock me.

And because of Point #4 and also because I don't want karma to bite me in the ass in the year of the water snake (might be particularly painful given venom and all) I'm going to go out of my way to give credit where it's due: The writer of this article is Chelsea Fagan, she is a 23 year old female living in Paris. In addition to Thought Catalog, you will also find her writings on The Atlantic, Grantland and Le Monde. Her first book is forthcoming in 2013.

You can find the original article over on Thought Catalog (which you should read on a regular basis as they're witty and insightful as hell) - I am only reproducing cos you folks are lazy and probably won't click through to it, and I think these are lessons well worth learning. Lessons that will make the world (or at least my tiny portion of it) a better place, if all you folks who inhabit my orbit (and dine at my dinner table) follow them.

Here's to a wonderful year of the snake ahead! God that sounds odd. But you really wouldn't want karma to come slithering up behind you and strike when you least expect it. So play nice people! Happy new year! Dong dong chang!