500 bucks richer for a poor person

At work the other day, I was conversing with a lady about her first bus-riding experience, of which she shared her very unusual experience.  Only she and a blind man were riding the bus at the time when she noticed a wallet under a seat close by. She picked it up, inspected it, and found $500 inside. After an astonished pause, I asked, “Did they have an address in there to mail it to?” She replied, “Well, I called all the numbers in the wallet but none of them were in service, so I mailed it back to the person.” She then cackled and said, “But I kept the 500 bucks! I mean, he should be grateful just to get his wallet back.”

She kept the money. She. Kept. The. Money. ICK! She was so proud of herself for her profit from someone else’s misfortune. How do you respond to that?  Being at work I couldn’t react with the disgust and revulsion I felt, so I neutrally stated how happy he would be to have his wallet back, since it can be such a pain to replace personal documents. But inside I just could not believe that this woman would be so proud of taking some poor guy’s $500 that she would share it enthusiastically with a complete stranger.  I mean, she was delighted with herself. She thought she was the luckiest, smartest gal in the land. She had no idea what I was really thinking. What most anyone would be thinking. It was despicable. It was cold and pathetic.

It is one thing to find a dollar on the street with no evident owner and keep it. It is a whole other ordeal to know who the owner is and to rip him off anyways.  This kind of story, to me, is a reminder of how truly sad someone can be when they are poor in morals, decency, and in spirit.  I almost pity the woman for thinking that stealing $500 is something to brag about. Pity her for a bad upbringing, or for giving in to bad influences.  But, then, how can I pity someone so selfish and so heartless? Even when I’m trying to be nice to people, there is no room for that. At that point, it was hard to be civil. What disappoints me is how nice I thought she was at first, but then upon knowing this tale, I realized that she is the type of person I would never want to befriend….  When I think on the experience, I can only resolve to never do anything of that sort, and to raise my family with decency so they know to do the right thing in those situations. I can’t control that woman, but I can control my behavior. And if I ever lose my wallet, I hope to God she doesn’t find it!


© Be Nice. Creator and Be Nice.(somethingsonice.wordpress.com), 2008-2009.

Bad motorcyclist! Bad!

How many of you have parked in, or blocked, a disabled parking space (or ramp) for convenience? Just a quick run inside–it won’t hurt anyone, right? Well, it might not hurt anyone, but it terribly insensitive.

Last night, I dropped off my fiance at work and saw that a motorcyclist had parked his or her bike in the loading zone between two disable parking spots, rendering the loading area completely useless (and therefore the spots very useless). The nerve! Perhaps the biker thought it was more considerate to take that space than a standard parking space (the latter of which can be annoying indeed, but it isn’t illegal or nearly as insensitive). That driver made a misguided decision. Imagine being a person in a wheel chair. Not only might you have to traverse snow-piled sidewalks in the winter (often rendering you home-bound in snowy conditions), but getting around in general can be difficult. So consider the frustration one might feel if they could not utilize the parking area designated for loading and unloading wheel chairs. Especially when the spots are there specifically for the disabled. Frustrating.

With this in mind, here is some information to know and some easy things you can do to be more considerate to disabled individuals:

  • Shovel the snow off your sidewalks after the snowplows have passed (so the person can get to the street).
  • Never ever park in a disabled spot (or loading area) if you do not have the correct certification.
  • Don’t assume a disabled person is incapable of doing things for themselves. If they need help, they will ask. You can offer assistance, but be sure to always ask first before acting.
  • Never pet a guide dog or feed them treats.
  • Guide animals are allowed in all public places including restaurants and hotels.
  • Don’t touch a person’s wheelchair or scooter without permission. To many, it is an extension of their body, making that action offensive or off-putting.
  • Don’t ask a person’s disability. That is incredibly inappropriate.
  • Don’t assume that a disability is visible from the exterior. Many illnesses, such as multiple sclerosis, may not be visibly in its early stages.
  • Hold doors, hold elevators, hit the disabled door-opener button, press the elevator floor, and many other courteous actions which you would do for anyone!
  • Support businesses run by the disabled. An example of this is Uptown Bill’s Small Mall in Iowa City, Iowa. Click on the link to read Bill’s story.
  • Volunteer for associations that assist the disabled.


© Be Nice. Creator and Be Nice.(somethingsonice.wordpress.com), 2008-2009.

Dressing for the occassion

I’m getting married this year to a pretty terrific guy. And the wedding is not your typical white wedding: no white dress, no penguin suit, no bridal party, no church, no diamond ring, no white cake… you get the idea. But when my beloved said he wanted to wear a Tuxedo T-Shirt to our nuptials, I had to say, “Oh, hell no.”

There’s a lot of debate between him and I about dressing up for occasions.  Should someone wear clothes they would otherwise not even have in their closet if they feel like they must, out of respect?  I say yes. He says… NO!  It’s a tricky situation. He wants to be himself. He doesn’t wear dress pants and dress shoes, ties or tucked-in shirts.  And he has more respect for other people (truly) than some others who make the gesture of respect in appearance but don’t act with the same respect through their words and actions. And of course there is the question, what is it going to hurt to put on a dress outfit to show that person you care about their important day or event?  His question is, how is it really hurting that person to let their friend/colleague be himself?

So the question is, do you conform to society’s rules–even if it makes your stomach turn–to show respect?  Or do you be yourself through and through and be respectful in all the other ways that seem to matter the most?


© Be Nice. Creator and Be Nice.(somethingsonice.wordpress.com), 2009.

And in honor of Wiping the Seatie…

So I was telling this friend of mine the other day about toilet seats and the lack of wiping going around, and she said the main perpetuaters were “hover girls”. And I have to say I love this phrase and I have to agree. So here is my thought:

Hover girls are afraid of germs on the seat, so they are afraid of sitting on the seat. What germs are they afraid of? The pee speckles that get there from the bad aiming and the girls that hover! AKA: them.

So, really, these hover girls are the reason for their problem! Because if they would stop peeing all over the seat, perhaps they wouldn’t be so freaked out to sit on it! And I’m not saying that a good layer of toilet paper isn’t in order when we sit on the seat (because it is: urine is sterile, skin is not), but I am saying, “Jeez! The irony!”  Hover girls are self-perpetuating hypochondriacs!!!!\


© Be Nice. Creator and Be Nice. (somethingsonice.wordpress.com), 2008-2009.  

New Postcard!

Hey everybody! 

First off, thanks for reading, and thanks to all of you who comment. It makes my day to know so many people read the blog and are spreading the word. I’m glad there are so many nice people coming together to pay it forward!

Second: I have finished and am distributing a new postcard! This one is based on one of my first posts: Wipe the Seatie Sweetie! I get so tired of urine-speckled toilet seats. YUCK YUCK YUCK! Weren’t we all taught to clean up after ourselves, I mean really???!!!!  Anywho, I hope you enjoy this one. I’m working on a series of twelve or more, so stay tuned!

Wipe the Seatie Sweetie
Wipe the Seatie Sweetie

© Be Nice. Creator and Be Nice. (somethingsonice.wordpress.com), 2008-2009.

What is this tube in my belly & where did my appendix go?

In “Thank You Dr. So-And-So,” I mentioned the importance of paying respect/courtesy to our medical professionals…..  After spending a large amount of time in and out of a hospital this last month interacting with doctors, I have to say that many, but not all, doctors need to return the favor.

I know they spend years studying and that many things are boring and old-hat to them, but to the patient the issues are serious and a tremendous concern. Disregarding questions and concerns with a shrug or an irritated look is not only rude and insensitive, it is irresponsible and disrespectful. Who knows what a doctor might learn if they gave the patient a chance to speak? If they didn’t treat the patient like they didn’t know anything?

Many patients like to know what the doctors outside the hospital room are saying to each other about the patient’s case when on their rounds. Why not give them that option? Why do patients have to ask over and over for test results, for answers, for basic post-op care instructions?  This can be a problem with “bedside manner” or this can be administrative and commuicative error.  Either way, it would make the world a nicer place with a little more patience and information.


© Be Nice. Creator and Be Nice. (somethingsonice.wordpress.com), 2008-2009.

Favorite fingers find us in frightening frays

Oh, I just read the greatest book! My grandma recommended this one. It is called: “Small Miracles: Extraordinary Coincidences from Everyday Life” by Yitta Halberstam and Judith Leventhal. If you are looking for a pick-me-up story, this is a great read. It’s fast and easy to pop through and all the stories are short, so it’s great for a wait in an office, a lunch break, or a daily train commute.

Below is a synopsis of one of the stories from the text, which is a great example of how being courteous on the road can pay off in the short or long run.

A man is driving furiously to an appointment across town for which he is likely to be late. Just as he is entering an expressway, he is cut off by another driver. He rolls down his window and screams obsinities at the other driver. Obviously angered and in a hurry as well, the other driver replies in kind by cutting off the man again and returning with more fervor his own explatives. Suddenly both of them arrive at their destination. They had both been late for their appointments–with each other!

Imagine if this had happened to you all those times you yelled in traffic or shared your favorite finger with your fellow driver!  I think this story can remind us all: when we’re behind the wheel, manners don’t go on a sabatical. Take a deep breath when you get angry, focus on driving safely, and just let it go. There are so many things in the world to get angry or stressed about. Why let an inconsiderate (and unsafe!) fool add to your plate? They don’t deserve that kind of attention, do they?\


© Be Nice. Creator and Be Nice. (somethingsonice.wordpress.com), 2008-2009. (Except quoted and paraphrased material above.)