Monday, 23 January 2012

random acts of niceness

Nicenessamiably pleasant, kind, pleasing, agreeable, delightful

I’ve never thought much about niceness except that somehow I had the idea that it was largely part of your personality – you either had it or you didn’t. But more and more lately, I’m beginning to recognise that niceness is also a deliberate choice, a practised habit, a chosen attitude, something that we build into our characters by choice. Like paying it forward, sort of thing.

I’ve been on the receiving end of niceness and it feels great.  Once someone gave me a generous gift of a beautiful dress. Another time, my friend Meegs sent me unexpectedly in the post a selection of Tassie goodies just out of the blue.

will you be old and grumpy or old and sweet?
When I try and think of times I’ve been nice to others, I have to admit it strains my brain. I’m appalled at my own un-niceness (a word). It would seem I don’t have it naturally. I also believe that as people age, the habits they practice through life become more pronounced. That’s why people either get ‘old and sweet’ or ‘old and grumpy’. So I think unless I choose to practice a bit more niceness in my life I’m going to end up a grumpy old bugger, waving my walking stick around angrily at ‘these young people of today’ and complaining loudly about everything.

This week I was challenged and excited by an active group of readers of one of my fave blogs who asked his readers to report in on random acts of kindness. The responses were overwhelming and delightful to read. Popular acts were paying anonymously for coffee, helping neighbours with gardening things, but Banjo reported this:

Hilarious!!! Remembered I’d seen a front yard of weeds down the street, so popped my gardening gloves in my pocket and wandered down….to find them all gone! Bugger. Kept walking and then saw the town’s “Mr Growly Grumpy” in his front yard. Gathered all of my courage, stepped onto the forbidden territory of his manicured front lawn and asked “Would you like a hand with anything?” Left 30 mins later with a bag of gorgeous fresh cucumbers and a new best buddy  Continued my walk, handing out conversation and cucumbers to everyone I encountered (including some Polish backpackers in a minivan). Smiles all round and I arrived home with a cucumber, a dozen tomatoes, 2 zucchinis, and a bag of lemons. The circle turns pretty quickly around here! What a great way to start a weekend 

Risk factor
Niceness will cause you to step out of your comfort zone. It carries risk – you may get rejected. I guess we’ll all have to decide whether or not the risk is worth the potential paydirt.

Call to niceness
why are people so unkind?
So you must know where this blog is headed, right? Are you going to join me in practicing deliberate niceness? This means being conscious of demonstration opportunities and not letting chances slip by un-niced (another word). It also helps and boosts morale if we can share any niceness stories here via comments where we can all see them and be encouraged. This is not limited to the next few days. You can add a comment at any time in the future here, and be assured someone (at least me!) will read it and be encouraged. So your niceness will be doubly effective by sharing your story.

Come on people! Be nice!

1 comment:

  1. funny how we see ''nice'' as not a very nice thing:). she's a nice girl...hmmm sound insipid and boring. be nice...sounds too close to don't act normal, people won't like you...

    but you're right. I reckon if there was a little more niceness...well the world would simply be a nicer place:)

    bring it on!