“If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all.” Yes, Mom, it’s still ringing in my ears. It’s an expression emblazoned on the psyches of millions of kids who’ve heard it thousands of times from mothers, grandmothers, and teachers.
Now as for doing something nice, that’s also a value that is instilled at a very early age. For me it harkens back to the days of catechism classes where we learned about the Corporal Works of Mercy. For those of you needed a refresher they are:
I’ve actually been thinking about these Corporal Works lately. How it’s not something you do because it’s convenient for your, or you do only when you have a spare moment. It’s also not about doing something with an expectation of getting something in return for your kindness.
Holding a door open for the mom whose arms are full, dropping your extra change into the donation box next to the cash register, or buying coffee for the car behind you at the local Dunkin’, is nice. What I’d love to see though, is more people doing “nice” BIGGER. Bringing an elderly neighbor dinner every Sunday; or turning your car around, even if you’re late to work, to ask the man who fell down on the icy sidewalk if he’s okay; or sending a co-worker a personal note when they experience a death in their family–let’s make it meaningful, friends! Human contact, personal connections; now that’s NICE!
Nice is as nice does, to be sure. I want to thank the people who were nice to me, specifically in 2011 and 2012. Through a thyroid cancer diagnosis and later treatment and through my grandchildren coming to live with us for the summer and it turning into 16 months. There are so many people who were nice to us! Bringing dinners, sending cards, sharing clothes and toys, taking the kids special places, keeping me sane! I could not have done it without such NICE-ness in my world!
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