Being Nice and Its Repercussions

Being reared in rural Michigan about 30-40 years ago, there was great emphasis placed on being nice. In fact, there was such a push for it that there were actually negative consequences when you were not nice, some making it difficult to sit down for a while. And it was explained in one way or another by a seeming multitude of people (parents, teachers, neighbors, random town folk, church folk, etc.) what being nice consisted of. And since I have noticed a myriad of people around about me and my children lately seeming as if they have not had similar lessons, I wish to share my “nice” knowledge with the masses. Perhaps some of my recent register workers or stock folk at some stores I have been in of late (and even managers, yikes) may read this and start applying its suggestions. Now, warning ahead of time, you may not ever get a reward for being nice. In fact, you may have severe repercussions such as surprise or funny looks or suspicion placed upon you. However, there may perhaps be some vague rewards like, oh I don’t know, a promotion or maybe a smile or gratefulness. The possibilities are endless. Here are some good starting points. 1. It is nice to look a person in the eyes who is speaking with you. This shows the person you actually care what words are coming out of their mouth and maybe even that you give at least some inkling of a care about your job. It also conveys something rare and mysterious as well as quite fragile… respect for another human being. Since we are all made in the image of God on purpose, we are all due this respect but be one of the first to actually convey that and you will come across as “nice”. This is a good thing, believe it or not. 2. It is nice to help someone who needs help. I know this is a little shocking, especially if in a hurry to do something for yourself, but no one is asking you to give up your heart while you are still in need of it, just a helping hand now and again picking something up, holding a door, bringing to attention when someone drops their keys, etc. These things are nice. You would want to be helped if you needed it, right? This particular step on the ladder to niceness may actually be met with thankfulness. Maybe not, I mean not everyone is nice, remember? Which brings us to 3. If someone nice helps you in any way, do say ” thank you” with a smile. Why? Because it is nice to do so. It is so much nicer than sticking up your nose as if the entire world should bow before you and your greatness. So smile and say “thank you” to anyone nice enough to help you with anything. Respect the rarity of that. Respect the nice help. Be nice back. We will leave it at these three practices as a good start. Follow these simple guidelines and you will find, oh shopper at Walmart, that being nice is very… well, nice.

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