Be Nice

I remember being out with some friends a couple of weeks ago when we passed a young couple walking the opposite way on the sidewalk. As we passed them, they both smiled at all of us and said "You all have a wonderful night!" It was completely unprovoked and entirely refreshing in a city filled with rushing, over-crowded, scowly faces. As a group, we decided to pay those well wishes forward to the next person we saw. About a block up, we found an 300+ pound man alone on a stoop, sporting the grumpiest face I have ever seen. Simultaneously, we all shouted "You have a wonderful night!" to him. His face lit up like the 4th of July and he smiled at all of us, completely surprised, and said "You too!"

Example of how not to be.
Over the years, I have made it my personal objective to be a kinder person. I used to harbor extremely judgmental thoughts about other people, even if I didn't know them. I would verbally bring down complete strangers with a friend or two in order to feel better about myself. I'm honestly ashamed to admit this, but I'm sure there are a lot of people who used to do (or possibly still do) the same thing. I've grown up a lot since then. I've come to realize that different doesn't ever equate to bad and that if someone is happy with their self and their life, then who am I to say anything? Who am I to judge? Since learning this valuable lesson, I have been able to make new friends (and keep old ones) who are on a similar track. Many people have "toxic friends" who bring them down. I only have positive people who lift me up. Granted, sometimes you guys make me feel stabby, but you're still good people and I still love you. I don't think I would've been lucky enough to meet such an amazing, kind, open-hearted, caring boyfriend if I didn't learn to open up my own heart.

That's not to say I'm a rainbow candy unicorn to everyone in real life. I'm still sarcastic and goofy and will call you out for saying something ridiculous, like when you're drunk at the bar and think the name "Lily" has five L's in it (right Sam?). But I'll never talk you down to bring myself up. Sometimes I feel negative, judgmental thoughts creeping into my head at the end of a rough day, but I've learned to recognize them and then push them out full force. It doesn't matter to me anymore whether you're fat, thin, handicapped, black, white, deaf, big-haired, overly made-up, gay, straight, transgender, post-abortion, a jesus lover, schizophrenic; as long as you're happy and not hurting or policing anybody else, then keep doing your thing and don't let anybody bring you down.

Niceness breeds niceness. If one person does something nice for another, it can change their entire day for the better and increase their chances of doing something nice for someone else (or so I've experienced, this isn't scientific). If you can learn to quell your judgment and just be nice, you have learned more than most people have been able to grasp in their entire lifetime. One "Bless you!" (or "When you die, nothing happens," if you're an atheist) after a sneeze, two helping hands for a woman with a stroller and a toddler to help her down a flight a stairs, three extra seconds to hold a door for the person behind you, these little things make all the difference. If all of us could just be nice, just BE NICE, we could change a lot around this place, don't you think?

You all have a wonderful night.


  1. This is amazing. I oftentimes find myself thinking negatively and have to take a step back and remind myself that what other people are wearing or how much they weigh or what they're eating has no affect on my life and shouldn't be judged by me.

    This is a wonderfully inspiring post. :)

    Cassie // Coffee & Chopsticks

  2. Thanks so much, Cassie!

    I think as humans, it's in our nature to judge things. I think if everyone learned to keep the negative judgments in check and let everyone do and be what makes them happy, the world would be a much better place.

    If only...

  3. Well, I can see how judgements are sort of necessary in society right now. Without somebody judging what's 'fashionable' or 'in', models and designers and a whole slew of other people that rely on what's socially acceptable wouldn't have jobs. But if those jobs never existed and everyone did just let people be, I'm sure new things would come up and that the world would be a lot less catty, haha.

    Sometimes I try to justify things that I think. For example, if a 500 lb woman is in a tank top and short shorts, my stomach has the opportunity to revolt and her ill advised wardrobe decisions would then directly affect me. But then at the same time, I know that it's pretty cool that a woman of that size can feel comfortable in that sort of getup despite magazines and advertisements and things like that.

    I get very confused when I think too much into it, haha.

  4. I completely agree. It's hard to get rid of all of the judgmental thoughts that go through your head, especially when it's mostly society and the media putting them in there. We would never think that fat=bad if it wasn't for society/the media telling us so. Many other countries think that the heavier you are, the more beautiful you are because it is a sign of being healthy and well-fed (and therefore, wealthier).


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