"It's nice to be important but it's more important to be nice."
I love it when people are nice, I don't just mean remembering my birthday nice (although I love that too), I mean all sorts of nice. It touches my heart deeply when my friends do nice things. Since I have some pretty amazing friends my heart is continually warmed by thoughtful gestures. Things like friends who are willing to pick up our mail and shovel our driveway while we were away last week, or sweet text messages from a friend saying they have thought of us. I love getting surprise cards in the mail from a member of my church or a phone call from someone who knew I was under the weather calling to see if I was feeling better.
Gestures from strangers lift my heart also. Holding the door when someone sees me following behind them, picking up and returning the boot my daughter kicked off without my noticing, or just smiling at me because they want to spread a little cheer.
Today you will very likely encounter some people who have yet to have their morning coffee, did not sleep well, are feeling ill pr cranky for some other reason all together. They will likely be short -tempered, quick to judge or jump to conclusions, some may be down right rude. This is me asking you, gentle readers, to show them how uplifting it is to be treated with kindness- even when they are unkind to you. This is NOT me suggesting you lay down to be walked all over. But must you flip someone the bird when they steal your parking space? Yes, you were there first and had your signal on; you were right, they were wrong. But does a rude gesture make that any more valid?
Being nice is a reward unto yourself as well. When you are thoughtful, generous, understanding, patient and gentle you will suddenly notice how many other people are too. When you are kind to the frantic waiter you will likely get more attentive service, when you are understanding to the over worked teacher you will likely get easier and more open communication. Even if all the frazzled cashier can do is give you an appreciative smile in return for your kind words, isn't that enough?
When you do get good service take the time to let someone know. I do this as often as possible, telling managers on the spot if my waiter was pleasant and knowledgeable or e-mailing the company if the service rep on the phone corrected my concern happily and well. I am often rewarded for these small gestures of good will. Frequently by establishments with coupons and discounts so I might come back to enjoy their service again and bring a friend, sometimes too I am simply rewarded with Karma.
Kindness typically costs nothing, but the value is unbelievably high, an inexpensive way to brighten your world.
Something as small as a genuine smile can change someone's day for the better- it might even be yours!