Bigger… Better….

I like to be nice to everyone that I can. I make a point of getting know the familiar faces in my life. I have a growing rapport with the guy at the gas station, the clerks at the grocery store, the guy at the Wine store, the waiter at my favorite diner, Maria at the bank, Jason our postal carrier, Krystal, Mary and Donnie at the gym, the gals at the fabric store, the staff at the art supply store, Jen at the camera store, and the workers at the post office.

These relationships have been built over time through consistently pleasant exchanges in which I seek to relate to these folks in a way that surpasses a concern with what they can do for me as their customer.  I sincerely ask how their day is, I tell them excitedly about my new projects (to include them in my life/activities), I make chitchat about normal, superficial things. It’s hard to stay indifferent to someone who is upbeat and positive, who is taking a specific interest in relating to you. And typically, I can engage them in a conversation and walk away knowing that perhaps their day is a little less mundane and a little brighter. Mine  is certainly sunnier.

But there’s an added benefit to all this: my world is bigger. My days are  better. All my routine tasks become invigorating experiences. If I am having a bad day, I could run to the store and see one of the workers I know and have a better attitude after talking with them a bit.  

When you reach out positively to others, people are naturally inclined to help you and/or respond nicely in return. When you form mini-relationships with those people that are in the background of your daily routine, the events of the day are more interesting, more rewarding and enjoyable.


© Be Nice. Creator and Be Nice. (, 2008-2009.

Texting and talking

This goes with my last post I think–but it’s an example of a passive lack of courtesy.

I was at this great lecture the other night about Andy Warhol, who I am not particularly crazy about, but I really admired the speaker and was interested in what she had to say about working with him in the sixties and seventies. I had the perfect seat with a great view, but sitting to my right were these girls who spent the whole time whispering (or even talking in low voices) to one another. At one point one of them was talking on her cell phone during this lecture. They were oblivious to the aggravated looks I cast their way, so I had to spend the whole time trying to ignore their talking. I am sure that these girls weren’t the least bit interested in the lecture, but rather were there by the request of their instructor. Also, to my left were two young men in a similar situation. As it came to the end of the lecture, the man to my left had lost his attentive focus and was texting away on his cell phone, snapping shut the cover absentmindedly and repeatedly.

My thought is this: I don’t blame anyone for being bored during a lecture to which they are required to go. That is pretty common in academia, unfortunately. But I hope these people could remember that there were hundreds of other people who were interested in the topic and very much wanted to listen without distraction. And in the future, perhaps they could hold back the whispers, sighs, giggles, phone calls and texting until they left the building.


© Be Nice. Creator and Be Nice. (, 2008-2009.

I paid my ten bucks too

I don’t go to the movies often. I’m a graduate student that’s trying to save my money as much as possible. But when I do, it drives me crazy to be in a theatre with inconsiderate people. They could be doing any number of things that are insensitive: talking on their cell phone, texting, whispering or talking to one another, laughing to be obnoxious, shouting out at the movie, wrestling around with their buddies, walking in and out of the theatre constantly, tossing food around, constantly wiggling in their seat, bringing children that are too young to a movie that makes them cry. Or like my friend who went to the movies last night, they could be instrumentally belching for their own amusement.

Seems to me that it is inconsiderate to behave in a way that is distracting to a group of people who paid money to do something. It is my hopes that people will remember to be more courteous and considerate in these situations so everyone can enjoy the thing they came to see.


And on an aside, comments and your own personal stories are totally welcome! I would love for this blog to become a forum for dialogue!


© Be Nice. Creator and Be Nice. (, 2008-2009.