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harple's avatar

What one activity/skill would you have people attempt to make the world a better place?

Asked by harple (10446points) January 19th, 2011

And in what way would it make the world a better place? (And what’s your own experience of said activity/skill?)

For example, I’ve just started a cross-stitch, the first one in my life… (I’m loving it!!) I have so far spent about 6 hours on it, and the area covered is little more than the size of my index finger! If more people attempted to do a cross-stitch, there would be a greater appreciation in the world for the effort involved in all the rich tapestries created throughout history… And, erm, as a result people would be more greatly appreciating their heritage, and that’s a very important thing!

Your turn!

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29 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Listening. Try it. You’ll like it, and you’ll learn something about yourself.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@hawaii_jake GA I was thinking “Shut up and listen” when I saw the question.

talljasperman's avatar

taking care of one’s health

harple's avatar

@hawaii_jake @Adirondackwannabe is that general advice, or have I rubbed you both up the wrong way?!! ;-)

iamthemob's avatar

I “third” @hawaii_jake and @Adirondackwannabe (as general advice ;-)).

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@harple : It’s general. Americans use “you” instead of referring to “one”. I should have written “Listening. Try it. One might learn something about oneself.”

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@harple Not directed at you:)

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Also obeying XD

picante's avatar

I very much applaud taking on a new skill and having that lead to a greater appreciation of [fill in the blank]. Were I to pick a skill, I think that learning to cook, even one thing, really well and serving that to your loved ones is a great skill. Appreciation for lots of things all around.

From a much higher perspective, I’d love to see everyone simply find their passion and live it. I realize I’m saying this from a position of relative freedom and abundance, and I can see that most of the world is not at liberty to find their passion. They’re trying to stay alive.

crisw's avatar

Growing and preserving your own food- drying, canning, cheesemaking and so on.

harple's avatar

@picante great answer – thanks for reading all the of the details of the question :-)

tinyfaery's avatar

Killing/growing our own food. Watch how much we care about the environment and the well being of other living things then.

ZEPHYRA's avatar


crisw's avatar


To elaborate a bit on my answer :>)

We are in transition right now- moving from our 2 acres in Jamul to the Pacific Northwest this fall, where we have 10 acres. So I am not doing as much as usual right now. However, I’ve raised dairy goats and chickens, and done a lot of gardening. I’ve made my own cheese and goat milk soap and gathered eggs. Even without my garden right now, I still do a lot of canning and preserving. I have fruitcakes with the fruit from our Washington trees, homemade jams and salsas and pickles, and I bake fresh bread several days a week.

Doing all of this helps keep me in touch with the Earth and appreciative of what it yields.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I agree with @psychocandy and @crisw. I would also have each person dress in a manner that would get them ridiculed for a day – to see what it’s like and to never ridicule others, themselves.

iamthemob's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir – you beat me to the punch…you vixen.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@iamthemob See what happens when you’re too busy playing with Mike in the sand box. You miss out other threads.

faye's avatar

I think everyone should learn basic skills like @crisw and basic sewing. I did the ‘everything from scratch’ because we were broke and couldn’t afford more, but I agree that a grounding to earth and it’s bounty if you work for it is a good basis for living.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Times of abstinence.

KhiaKarma's avatar

intentional dialogue. The link shows the steps from a couple’s perspective, but it works for all kinds of dyads. People would learn how to truly hear one another while at the same time they would feel heard. If everyone felt that human connection, there would be a lot less violence and more acceptance of others.

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] This is our Question of the Day!

filmfann's avatar

recycling. Taking care of the planet takes care of us all.

Bellatrix's avatar

The ability to accept we are all different. We look different, think differently, have different attitudes and beliefs and speak different languages, but no individual or group is less valuable because of those differences. If only we could learn to accept difference.

Kardamom's avatar

Humility or Empathy

The more we are able to understand (empathize) what it’s like to be like someone else or to “walk in their shoes” and all the ramifications that go with that, the more likely we are to be kind and understanding and tolerant.

harple's avatar

Great answers all round! I guess I was thinking more of physical activities and skills, (such as being a waiter or waitress and therefore learning what that is like, and as a result treating people in the service industry with a greater respect and never being above one’s station…) but these answers of important characteristics to have and learn are so valuable.

Perhaps I shall ask a different but related question!!....

Kardamom's avatar

@harple I think the “traits” that we have been listing are much more important than the skills, such as being a waiter. The reason I say that is because there are plenty of people who are in the types of jobs, where you think they would learn the “traits” such as humility or politeness or whatever, but then they don’t.

There are rude waiters, un-sympathetic doctors, and abusive clergy-persons. It would seem like being in these jobs and/or learning the skills that you need to perform those jobs would make these people better people. But it’s the traits themselves, such as manners and empathy and politeness and tolerance that are important, in and of themselves. Those traits are usually taught by parents, grandparents, teachers and friends. Even if people take a job in one of the “caring” or “service” professions, if they don’t already have those other good traits/skills, they’re still going to suck (pardon my French).

Maybe the better question is how do people (in general) learn the good traits and what do you do about people who have never learned them?

harple's avatar

Thank you @Kardamom. Perhaps what I’m getting at, is not that people who are waiters now are “automatically” going to be polite, etc, but that if people in other jobs have had experience of being a waiter, that perhaps they will be more polite to their waiters in future.

Your question is a good one – it wasn’t the one I was asking, but is nonetheless very good. Do feel free to ask it if you like! :-)

flutherother's avatar

Everyone should have to work for a couple of years in the third world, with the VSO or somesuch. I have never done it I must confess but it would broaden the mind and help people who are greatly in need of help.

KhiaKarma's avatar

@Kardamom I do believe that people can learn to understand another’s views through learning specific skills. I have seen it happen, over time, though practicing the intentional dialogue I posted up there somewhere….So even through they may not have been perceived as having the empathetic “trait”, (is there such thing? I would suppose it would be similar to temperament) by practicing the skills, it would most likely occur through behavior changes.

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