Many people cringe when they hear the word, "atheist." Atheists are assumed to be all-around bad people, and are sometimes even confused for devil worshipers. That is simply not the case. Free thinkers tend to be educated people who are very ethical in work and they tend to take morality very seriously, yet they are among the most discriminated-against belief group in existence. For those atheists who need some guidance in being a good person, along with anyone else who may wish to use this how-to, I offer you “How To Be A Good Atheist.”
Don't think you're better than other people. You are a free thinker, and you may feel that you are a better person because of it. Don't. You are merely a different person. You may, in fact, be better at things than other people, but remember, we are all human beings who have potential. No one person is 'better' than another; we are all equal, whether we are white, Jewish, short, gay, mentally unstable, valedictorian, poor, Christian, male or female. Always remember that, despite all of our differences, we are all people and should love one another.
Have respect for those around you. As atheists, we are disrespected quite often. The best way to counter that is to be respectful back. Two wrongs don't make a right, and the same applies here. If we make it a point to be respectful, others may follow suit. Sure, it is easy to think ill of someone who believes in an invisible man in the sky, but remember, something terrible may have happened in his life and he had no one to turn to, so he turned to the deity and felt better. Should he be faulted for that?
Do not assume that everyone can understand our point of view. Some people, as unfortunate as it is, cannot wrap their brain around a big bang theory or evolution. There are those who actually think that evolution means that an ape turned into a person one day, and all of a sudden, he wasn't an ape anymore. You can try to explain that it means that a species changed slowly over millions of years, but the fact remains that some people just can't conceptualize that. Also, remember that a lot of believers were taught from a very young age, and it is much more difficult to reeducate than it is to educate. Do your part and try to explain your point of view, but keep in mind that it will be a difficult task.
Perform a random act of kindness every day. It may sound like a tall order to fill, but every single day, we pass up the opportunity to do a nice thing for someone. It doesn't have to be much, and it doesn't really have to be big, but it will be kind, and we desperately need more kindness in the world.
As a misunderstood group, it is our duty to help people know what we are all about. Until that happens, we will continue to be disrespected and discriminated against. There is no need to continue hiding in our closet, and the best way to come out, is to come out and compliment someone with a smile!