In a world of bad news, nasty people, banned books, idiot politicians (still – always and forever) and generalised doom and gloom there is a way to inject a bit of sunshine into the world and it is terribly, deceptively simple.
Being nice is one of those under-rated things. Nice is such a bland, nonentity of a word that we forget its power. Being nice is simple, not tricky or hard and it should be one of those words we resurrect and give more power and meaning to. As the husband of a dear departed old friend noted many years ago: “It’s nice to be important but more important to be nice.”
I was struck by this this week during my journey into the bowels of the NHS, for a touch of day surgery. A bit worried, a bit nervy, as you can be one such days, it took one small comment, a moment of niceness and I felt just fine about the whole endeavour. With my pink hair and left-handedness the nurse commented that “you must be creative” and smiled. It was a tiny simple comment but it was nice and it made me feel so much better.
Taking that to heart, I was reminded of how often I do and (too often) don’t say something nice. How all too often it’s easy to say the unpleasant thing, to make the unkind comment, to not bother with being appreciative or nice. Have a think about it. Do you thank the bus-driver, the barista at Costa, the receptionist at the vet’s? Do you tell someone they’re looking nice, pretty, have nice shoes? Do you notice the little things and make a feel-good comment like my nurse did? How often do you say nice things to those you love and should appreciate the most?
Here are some simple things you can try out-
*Smile at people
*Say thank you and mean it
*Appreciate small things, like a nice cup of coffee made by someone else
*Say hello to people
*Let people know you appreciate their efforts, the extra mile they’ve gone
*Say something thoughtful when you come home from work, don’t whine as soon as you get in the door
*Equally greet your partner happily at the end of the day – show you’re pleased to see them
*Notice things about people, pay them compliments, but don’t go too far – be genuine and simple – you look good in that and the all time classic – you’ve lost weight
*Ask for things politely – manners are the epitome of being nice, and take you a long way
*Tell people you like them, tell those you love that you love them – you can’t say it too often
*Don’t forget to apologise when you aren’t nice, either. It helps restore the balance of niceness. A simple I’m sorry goes a long way.
There are four serious benefits to saying something nice.
1.You will make someone else feel good.
2.You will feel good because you’ve made them feel good.
3.You make the world a better place.
4.People will say nice things to you too!
Go on, resurrect NICE, make it a word that matters. Make the world a better place in a small way every day. You may not be able to stop books being banned, drive-by shootings, kidnappings and hijackings but you can make a difference by simply saying something nice. Do your bit for good Karma. (Images courtesy Private Collection)