Kindness goes a long way. Every day, I work at being polite — even to my family.
Having worked in customer service and then as a teacher, I know the importance of smiling, being kind, and choosing to be nice.
Sadly, not enough people work to be nice to one another daily. I’ve seen horrifying bullying and cruelty doled out by elementary school kids, teenagers, and even adults.
My worst memory of bullying was in my second year of teaching. A boy who was not well-liked by his peers was on the receiving end of some bullies who thought it would be funny to throw things at him. As I was teaching my sophomores about Shakespeare, I suddenly realized that he had been hit already with erasers, crumbled paper, and batteries. Batteries. Seriously? I was mortified. Never had I seen anything so rude and awful — and it was right under my nose.
I stopped this behavior immediately. I called parents. I talked to the students.
I do not ever understand any reason for treating someone as if they don’t matter.
I choose to be nice.
Now that my children are growing up, I do my best to show them every day how to be kind. My 8 year old daughter, Miss Sassy Pants, has quite the giving heart. She treats everyone nicely — but she does want to report a bully if she sees them. I have to teach her how to tell the difference between telling on someone for good reason and telling on them for the sake of tattling. We have many conversations about what it means to treat our friends the way we’d like to be treated — and that includes not tattling on them.
The Choose to Be Nice campaign wants to do exactly this: encourage people to consciously make the decision to treat one another with kindness. To help do this, they have created a T-shirt that will remind the wearer and those around them to be nice.
When I wore my Choose to Be Nice shirt, I was very aware of the looks I was getting. There were smiles. There were curious glances. There were even people who opened doors for me as I walked through campus.
You can get your own Choose to Be Nice shirt to wear in order to promote this awesome concept. You can also Make the Promise to be nice to everyone whose path you cross. Check out their webpage for more information, and be sure to like them on both Facebook and Twitter.
Disclaimer: I received a free T-shirt to wear in order to write this post. However, I firmly believe in the concept of choosing to be nice to one another, and the opinions expressed are 100% my own.