If You Can’t Say Something Nice… Then Get Out

According to Soul Pancake’s Kid President in 20 Things We Should Say More Often, the number one thing is: SOMETHING NICE.

Have you said something nice today?

As of today, many of us gratitude journalers have penned 30 things for which we’re grateful. If your list looks like mine, a good many of those 30 “things” on your list are people. But have you actually told those people they made your list?

child's hand offering daisyYesterday I received such a message from a friend, saying she was thankful that we met. How often does that happen?!?

Nonetheless, much like the pay-it-forward line at Starbucks the other day, I was moved to spread the love, so I sent a few of my own “happy to know you” messages.

Because I’m thankful for people. ALL kinds: the good ones, the bad ones, the adventurous ones, the intelligent ones, the likable ones, and even those not so likable.

Here’s a handy guide to help gauge where you fall in the latter category, inspired by Kid President.

  • Do you repeatedly and almost exclusively talk negatively about others? Or do you have more important things to do and/or discuss?
  • Do people like you as much as your pets do?
  • Whether you agree with the estimation or not, have you ever been labeled a “bully” or a “troll”? Or do people generally describe you as fair, generous, and kind?
  • Are your in-person and social media interactions consumed by a self-appointed task of berating others who disagree with you?
  • Beyond just claiming to agree to disagree, are you truly capable of showing respect and grace toward others with different opinions? Or do they feel treated as less than human?
  • Are you continually enmeshed in heated debates, hashing and rehashing problems? Or would you say you’re a part of creating solutions?

hands reaching

Even for those that fall a bit short in the warm-and-fuzzy social scale, then I feel compelled to say, from the bottom of my heart, “Thank you.”

Because it is people like these that provide constant reminders of what kind of people the rest of us never want to be.

But if you’re reading this, without judgment or scorn (because that’s what the good ones do, they look for the good, no?), you are one of the rarities. And you should read this, along with me, every single day:

Never allow anyone to rain on your parade and thus cast a pall of gloom and defeat on the entire day. Remember that no talent, no self-denial, no brains, no character, are required to set up in the fault-finding business. Nothing external can have any power over you unless you permit it. Your time is too precious to be sacrificed in wasted days combating the menial forces of hate, jealousy, and envy. Guard your fragile life carefully. Only God can shape a flower, but any foolish child can pull it to pieces.” ―Og Mandino

Now, let’s all go out and say something nice—or at least buy someone else’s coffee.

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