"Be nice. The world needs more nice"
What do you think of when you hear the word "nice"? When you say the phrase, "she was nice", what do you mean? We tell little children to "be nice" and "play nice", but what are we really saying?
It seems to me that being nice means you will get run over in this world. Nicety and manners are rare, and it is almost a shock when you run into them. And that saddens my heart a great deal. Being nice does not mean you have to lay down and be walked over like a rug. You do not have to let everyone else have their way, not have your own opinions, or any other nonsense like that. Not in my book anyway.
Being nice is a choice. I can choose to have good manners and extend kindness in any situation, because it flows out of who I am. It does not matter what the circumstances are surrounding me, or what other people are doing either. I choose to be nice because I have integrity of character, not because the other parties involved are being nice to me.
Even when the customer at work is being rude and/or obnoxious. Even when the restaurant screws up my order. Even when I get cut off in traffic. Even when...fill in the blank. I am in control of my emotions, reactions, and responses. I don't give control to anyone else or any other circumstance. I decide what I am going to present to the world around me.
The phrase "kill them with kindness" is one of my favorites. Not because I am secretly killing those rude people in my mind while saying nice things to them. I choose to kill the revolving door of dishing back what I am served. I choose to be kind in the midst of everything else, because it defuses situations. I stop for a moment, try not to take things personally, and know that there's always a story behind the story. There are always reasons for everything. I have no idea what happened to the person before they ended up in front of me, short tempered and out of nice. When I realize that I have been on the other end of the counter, short fused and wanting things my way, I understand that I have the power to fill up their nice bucket. Or at least not be another drop of rain on their parade. Perhaps I can be the silver lining in their stormy sky. And maybe, just maybe, I can kill the perpetual cycle of giving only what you are given.
Now, I don't always get it right. I'm not perfect. At all. And I am very passionate person, with a lot of complicated and complex feelings. (Notice how I had to use two words to describe my feelings, yeah that deep.) I get angry. I feel cheated and used. I don't always have a positive outlook and a smile on my face. But I don't have to let my immediate feelings dictate my present response. I can choose to dig deeper into who I am when my emotions are stable, and present the part of me that is better than what I am being presented.
The world needs more nice guys. And in my book, they don't finish last. They are the true winners, because they have the true control. They don't let the world around them suck them into the drama and the garbage of the day. Even in the midst of frustration and deadlines and cranky customers, nice people can hold their heads up, sigh deeply, and smile. Because this too shall pass, and it is so much better to be remembered for being nice than anything else.
Let's rise above the "eye for an eye" mentality out there in the world. Let's empower ourselves to not have to take the meanness, rudeness, and whatnot. Instead, let's be nice back. It just might surprise you how good it feels inside. It's hard work at times, and challenging, but it is worth it. You are worth it.
Photo taken with iPhone 4, September 2014. Iowa.
Copyrighted Reflections of Revelation.