The world would be a much more pleasant place if everyone treated each other the way they do at the beach.

I just spent a weekend along the shores of Lake Michigan and was struck by how collegial and trusting people were. Beachgoers positioned their tents or blankets at a reasonable distance from each other. People took care not to shower others with sand when they folded up their belongings. No one left debris behind. People honored the “no grills, no glass, no alcohol, no pets” rules without constant patrolling. There was no obnoxiously loud music to infringe on the sound of the waves.

Most surprisingly, everyone, including us, left all their valuables behind without incident. Our phones, Apple watches, car key, and cash all sat unattended in a Ziploc while we enjoyed the water. I normally would not leave such items in an unlocked car, but at the beach, it seems like standard practice. Maybe that’s why so many find the shores to be a respite and relaxing escape — it takes us back to a time when people were civil and the world was a friendlier place.

You don’t need to be physically at a beach to act as if you were. Follow the Golden Rule and treat those around you as neighbors. It makes for a more pleasant trip around the sun for everyone.

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