I will hold the door for people behind me. I will say “please” and “thank you.” I will smile at strangers. I will compliment people. If I’m not sure whether I should greet someone with a handshake or hug, I will opt for the hug. If I see someone having trouble, I will offer help. I will try to perform at least one Random Act of Kindness a week. I will be grateful. I will not hold grudges. I will always do my best to be humble, empathetic, and honest. I will be mindful and considerate of the people around me. I will be kind to people, animals, and nature. All in all, I promise to be nicer!
I’ve meant to blog about Melissa over at Operation NICE for a while now. Operation NICE is a project, a blog, a movement that “encourages individuals to be proactively nice.” That’s all. Not asking for donations, your time, your emails, or the sun and stars. Just suggesting that, given the opportunity, it might be nice if you did something nice. For no reason other than it’s the nice thing to do.
I love this. And I love the fact that Operation NICE is based right here in Philly. (Well, right over there in Philly. Close enough.)
My resolution a few years back was to be positive. It was partly why I even started this blog, to seek out things to feel good about- the everyday “wayside sacraments.” My default position was always pessimistic and defensive, and I was just tired of being that way. It took me a few months to fully realize that your outlook is entirely defined by your frame of mind, not by external events and factors. That when you let things get you down, you’re letting them get you down. You have a choice. And that when you decide to look at the entire world with unflappability- mind like water– it has a ripple effect. Or, more accurately, an anti-ripple effect. Your refusal to get all worked up about things causes other people to calm down. You realize that things turn out however they’re going to turn out, and getting upset really only affects you.
Make no mistake. Being positive is hard, hard work at first. People make fun of you.
Then it becomes a habit. And then it just becomes who you are.
I like this person much better.
This year I’m taking the pledge to be proactively nice. Before, I was just refusing to add to the negativity, but now I’m gonna add something positive. It’s going to feel silly at first, I know. I will probably get upset at people not acknowledging how I held the door for them. (I will try not to, but I can foresee this happening.) I’m hoping over time it will become a habit, and then a defining characteristic. That people, when describing me, might use the word… nice.
I’m pretty sure that’s never happened before.
Who’s with me? C’mon.
Pledge to be nicer.
Always be a little kinder than necessary.
-James M. Barrie
Getting money is not all a man’s business:
to cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life.
Being considerate of others will take your children further in life than any college degree.
-Marian Wright Edelman
The best portion of a good man’s life-
his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.
I expect to pass through life but once.
If therefore, there be any kindness I can show,
or any good thing I can do to any fellow being,
let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it,
as I shall not pass this way again.