All of this is wrapped up in what is for me a very serious philosophical question: what does it mean to be a better person?
Interestingly, different religions may define this slightly differently, so it may be worth reflecting on this question in its religious context.
On the practical side, it’s a long list, but the point is to say kind words to all those on the list. Sometimes it’s an email, sometimes it’s a phone call. Also, some reflections on wrongs against more general categories, and ways that I can acknowledge, and improve my behavior. So here’s the list.
1) Immediate family. Parents, siblings, cousins, nephews, in-laws.
2) Ex-spouse. Friends and family.
4) Teachers, bosses, and former colleagues.
5) Former roommates. High school classmates, etc.
6) Immediate neighbors.
For the list of more general categories, I came up with:
1) animals – have I cared for my animals properly? have I hurt any animals? have animals been hurt to feed my hunger?
2) the environment – have I respected other plants and animals? have I respected the common media that we need to survive such as air, and water, and clean soil? have I been wasteful?
3) poor people – have I done what I could for those who are without food or water or shelter or health care or mobility?
4) disadvantaged people – have I remembered and respected the elderly? have I helped to educate the children to grow into good people? have I used my abilities to help those who are mentally or physically less able and want my help? have I helped the sick when they have wanted help?
5) political – have I done what I could in good conscience for those governing agencies around me to improve them? have I forgiven those times when I have been hurt? have I remembered those who have been imprisoned? have I fought for the release of political prisoners of conscience? have I been peaceful?
6) those that are of diverse languages, countries, colors, sexual orientation, or religions – have I tried to communicate with others who do not speak the same language? have I welcomed the foreigner?
7) life – have I done what I could to respect life and health? have I been respectful of boundaries of influence when it comes to others?
8) myself – have I treated my body and mind with respect? have I striven for excellence in all that I have attempted?