Whether you’re stuck in a rut and want to take a class or get a certification to dust off the cobwebs, or you’ve decided that you want to give back and help others in some way, there’s never a wrong reason to go out and learn a few skills that help others or improve ourselves. There’s always going to be times when someone needs help, and we all look around for that person who is cool in a crisis and knows just what to do.
Luckily these days, it’s easier than ever to learn a whole host of skills right on your computer or smartphone. With online classes and certifications, you can brush up on those amazing skills and become a more well-rounded individual easily and affordably.
Here’s just a few skills that we should all learn to become better citizens of our community:
How to Change a Tire
Most of us were taught this by our kindly grandpas, dads or enterprising mothers. But for the few of us who haven’t learned this necessary life skill, there’s no need to take a class. It’s as easy as watching a few YouTube videos.
Knowing how to change a tire and/or do basic car maintenance is a really good idea. Being stranded in the middle of the night, in bad weather or in a remote area with no skills or resources to help yourself is a danger that we all should avoid. Having these handy skills to take care of a problem quickly and efficiently ourselves keeps us all safer. Plus, you’ll avoid having to pay for a tow truck or mechanic, or waiting for AAA to respond to your call.
It’s a handy skill that can literally save a life, and it’s easier than you think to learn. Learning CPR online is easy, accessible and affordable, with online classes and certifications. We hope there’s never a situation where you’re required to perform CPR on someone, but if the need arises, have peace of mind that you’re equipped with the knowledge and know-how that can literally keep someone alive until the paramedics come. Knowing how to perform CPR is a skill worth its weight in gold.
Knowing self-defense is another skill that everyone should have – not just women, either. Learning the basics of how to defend yourself in the event of an attacker can save your life, or the lives of others.
Self-defense courses are taught everywhere, so you’ll have no trouble finding classes in your area. Many are extremely affordable, with some government programs and organizations even offering them for free. Go with a friend or two, and learn how to protect yourself in every situation.
Most adults know how to swim, but for the few who don’t…you should learn.
You never know when you might find yourself in need of this important life skill. In some cases, you might even be needed to save someone other than yourself. Learning to swim is easy, and you don’t have to be at Michael Phelps’ level to know the basics.
There are lots of tutorials and lessons online to train you how to spot a drowning person and save someone who is struggling in the water. It pays to know these skills!
Heimlich/Saving Someone from Choking
The Heimlich Maneuver is a skill that everybody will use in their life at least once. Who doesn’t know someone who was choking once? Learning the Heimlich Maneuver is pretty easy and you can even do it on yourself in the event of an emergency. Why not learn this skill so you can save someone from choking?
How to Build a Fire
Whether you’ve found yourself lost in the woods on a wayward camping trip, or the power is out at your house and therefore no central heat – no matter the scenario, everyone should know how to build a basic fire. In some cases your survival might literally depend on it!
Speak a Second Language
Admittedly, this may be a skill many Latino men already have. If you do, you know the benefits already. If you don’t you are not alone, many Americans only speak one language, which is at odds with almost the entire rest of the world. Taking the time to learn a second language can benefit you in so many ways. It opens up whole new worlds of language and thought, and can equip you to translate for others as well. Consider learning a language that is prevalent in your area, wherever that might be, to give you an extra nudge with jobs or just to communicate better with folks in your community.
It’ll give your brain a good workout, too, which is always good!
Read a Map
In the world of Google Maps, Waze and other GPS apps, most people don’t know how to read maps anymore. But it’s a skill we should all have, in cases of emergency. A shocking number of adults don’t know how to read a map and cannot locate their own city or county on a map. This is something we should all be working to remedy. Knowing basic geography and how to read a map is a very useful, and necessary, life skill.
How to Drive a Stick/Manual
So many of us learned how to drive on an automatic vehicle, but knowing how to drive a stick shift or manual drive is a really important skill to have. You never know when you’ll be stuck with a manual transmission – you should definitely know how to drive one!
Since we’re on cars, another skill everyone should know: how to parallel park. You might not have to do it often, but you’re guaranteed to be stock with no parking spot at least once. And hey, it’s on the driving test, so you might as well go ahead and learn.
How to Tie a Suture
If someone has injured or wounded themselves and are bleeding profusely, it can be a matter of life and death. Paramedics take a few minutes to get to any emergency situation, so knowing how to tie or suture a bleeding wound can save a life. Always elevate the wound if possible, and tie it tightly using a long cloth or item of clothing.
How to Deliver a Baby
This is a big one, and of course not everybody on earth knows how to deliver a baby. But if you’re looking to brush up on your health/medical skills and have the time, why not learn? We hear stories every day of children being born in unexpected circumstances and locations. Likely those babies were delivered by some do-gooding pedestrian or neighbor who knew how to deliver a baby.
How to Balance a Checkbook and Make Change
This is another skill that seems to be dying off as we venture further into a digital world. However, knowing how to balance a checkbook and keep up with your finances properly can keep you out of debt and out of big trouble, to boot. So many small mistakes can lead to much larger ones when it comes to finance. Just taking the time to balance your spending and keep a tally of your up to date balance can help you so much – and you never know when the bank’s website or app might be down – keep your own tally.
Oh and another life skill that a surprising number of people don’t know how to do – make change. We all have calculators on our phones these days, and since most folks primarily pay with debit or credit cards or even Paypal/Venmo, the need to make change is less and less frequent. Still, it’s a life skill that everyone should have, for those rare emergencies when you need to count back a person’s money. Not to mention to keep yourself from getting swindled!
How to Tell Directions
You never know when you might find yourself lost and without your smartphone, map or other way to tell where you are. Learning how to tell directions just based on the sky is a dying-out life skill that everybody should take care to learn. You never know when you might need it.
Whether Water is Safe to Drink
Animals just instinctively know when water is safe to drink, and humans? Well, sometimes they get themselves into trouble. Knowing when water is fresh and safe is an important life skill to have, especially if you’re interested in camping or other forms of travel. It’s more complicated than just “is the water running or standing still”. Drinking tainted water can make you sick or even kill you.
Know Your Poisonous/Allergenic Plants and Animals
Admittedly this one might not apply to city dwellers and other urbanites. However, if you spend a lot of time outdoors or in rural areas, knowing this information can literally save your life. Know how to identify and avoid poisonous plants, as well as animals, insects and more. You should also know how to treat bites, burns, and rashes if you do happen to come into contact with one of these.
These are just a few of the many skills that everybody should know to be better citizens, neighbors and friends. If we all learned just a few of these skills, the world would be a great deal safer.
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