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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.”

6 Responses to be nice

  • Daphne says:

    Great article – we are working on incorporate nice into our days too. I’ve switched from asking about their day at school to asking them to tell me something nice they did for someone…

  • colt13 says:

    Even the dollar(4) theatre sells tickets online now.

    I come here because you have a positive, and sometimes crazy outlook on life. By writing, you are “being nice” to me.

    • Kelcey says:

      I just couldn’t imagine this woman knowing how to print out tickets! Plus they were actual ticket from the theater. Thanks for the sweet words. Although now I’m curious about this “crazy outlook” 🙂

  • Princess Judy says:

    Being nice is something worthy to strive for. Awhile ago my boss was being critical of everyone and then turned on me, “You’re so fake when you work the reception desk with your happy voice and cheesy smile.”

    Wow. Just Wow. And yes, totally fake. In reality I hate people and I’d rather be alone in my room with my cats but I know how I’d like to be treated at a reception desk. Look at me-acknowledge me. Give me a cheese smile and chirpy voice, make me feel welcome, point me in the right direction.

    Later my boss apologized saying she was having a bad day. It turns out she doesn’t like people either and knows if she did that job it would have be just as fake or actually she said faker.

    Anyway, be nice even if it is forced and faked. It’s better than grumpy and surly. Any old anybody can do that. Not everyone can smile and be nice.

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kelcey kintner