Last weekend, my husband and I were out to dinner at a Fort Lauderdale restaurant called, Coconuts. All the staff wear shirts that say, “Be nice.” Seems like a perfect mantra in a post election world.
We bought one of the t-shirts because couldn’t we all use a bit more “be nice” in our life?
The next day, on the way to school, I was telling my kids about the restaurant and the t-shirts when my daughter Summer said, “Look at that car.”
And there it was. A sticker on the back that said, “Be nice.”
How funny. Sometimes the universe just points a certain way.
The following day, I pulled into a parking lot. Right next to me – another car with a sticker that said, “Be nice.” I was staring at it when the owner of the car came back. I asked him, “Where did you get that sticker?” He told me where and then said, “Have a great day!”
“You too!” I responded.
Well, I never even had time to buy one of those stickers because shortly after, I was at another event in Fort Lauderdale, and someone was handing them out. For free. I took one and now it’s on my car.
The universe wasn’t just pointing me in a direction. It was hitting me over the head.
I always try to be nice. Although I’ll admit I’ve had complete moments of failure when I’ve been waiting at a doctor’s appointment for a ridiculous amount of time and I start stressing about traffic and school pick up and well, it can cause one to lose their patience and their “be niceness.” But I always apologize, forgive myself and then try again.
It was my husband who taught me how to take nice to a whole new level. For example, instead of just saying hello with a smile to the security guard at your school – you can know his name, whether he has kids and you can mention how much you appreciate the long hours he works.
That’s the kind of nice that makes such a difference. It’s something to strive for whenever humanely possible. In a world where we often feel powerless, we forget how much our small positive actions can change the story of someone’s day.
This past week, I drove my kids to their piano lesson. All four were at the lesson and my 3 year old was asleep in the car. I was leaning against the car and breathing a moment of calmness. Finally a second to read a funny article that a friend had sent.
And at that very moment, this older women starts walking towards me on the street.
“Hi. I need to meet my friend at the movies but I don’t know how to get there. I’m told I can use my phone but I don’t know how to do it,” she said to me.
She even handed me the movie tickets to prove that she was indeed going to the movies. I wondered how she got the tickets without going to the theater but I didn’t ask. I only had 15 minutes until my 6 year old son would be done with his lesson.
“Sure, I said. You have a car, right?”
She did, around the corner.
So I explained how the maps app on her phone worked. I turned on her location services. I put in her destination and wished her a great trip to the movies. She said thank you and left.
And then my 3 year old woke up.
And a few minutes later, my 6 year old emerged from his lesson.
It was time to go to the playground while the others finished their lessons. I never did read that funny article.
But I like to think that woman went to the movies, met up with her friend and said, “There was this woman who helped me get here today. She was really nice.”