Friday, February 5, 2010

Nice People

I just want to take a moment to express my appreciation for nice people. When I say "nice people" I don't mean people who aren't mean or rude. I'm talking about the people who go out of their way to be nice, who surpass the neutral non-offensive stage into the downright pleasant stage. I want to thank people who make a conscious effort to say and do nice things entirely for the benefit of other people. I really appreciate these gestures, even when they're small. They cost so little, and yet they can make a big difference in my life.

Below are some nice people I've encountered recently whom I'd like to recognize.
  • The two people at last Sunday's church potluck who offered me advice on pursuing publication for my book
  • The lady at the gas station who saw me trying to figure out how to open the gas tank door on the car I was borrowing and came over to tell me to look for the lever at the base of the driver's seat
  • The friend who lent me the car in the first place
  • The people who took it upon themselves to tell me they enjoyed my singing at a recent church service
  • Every single person who has smiled at me while passing me on the sidewalk this week, despite the fact that it's freezing out and we're mostly concentrating on getting to our destinations as quickly as possible
  • The friends who told me I looked nice in the dress I was trying on in a boutique on Saturday
  • My workout buddies who provide jokes and banter that help distract us all from the fact that our muscles are screaming
  • A group of my colleagues who are raising lots of money for their polar plunge team (they get sponsored to jump in a freezing lake, and the money benefits the Special Olympics)
  • The coworkers who stop by my desk to say hello and see how I'm doing on their way to a meeting with my boss
  • My husband who turns the outside light on for me when he knows I'm coming home late
  • The friends who voluntarily share food and beverages with me when I'm hanging out at their house
I remember all of these things because they made me smile. These people decided to take some sort of friendly or generous action just for the sake of improving my day, and their efforts worked marvelously. These little things not only make me happier, they also encourage me to be a nice person myself and to pass along the positivity. It doesn't really cost me much to go a little bit out of my way to be nice, and the benefits are so enjoyable. Having the power to improve someone else's day is a gift for the giver as well.

So here's to nice people. Keep it up!

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