When I was little I used to look at the mean kids and think when they grow up and look back, they will be so ashamed. But as I have lived life I know that more than likely, they just grew up to be mean adults. Funny how small our worlds are when we are young. We don’t automatically understand things objectively. It is all so simple before we are about eight or nine. We don’t understand about egos yet. But if we are blessed, we have adults that can teach us that it isn’t what others think about us but what we ultimately think about ourselves.

My dad grew up in a family of five boys. He was a twin and most of his life didn’t have a toy of his own. And the ones he did have are stories he tells about seventy years later. He recently told me a story about a big old mean coach in High School that told the class that nobody better return without gym clothes. He had $5 to his name and a horrible tooth ache. He went to the dentist and was told, “$10 bucks to fill and $5 bucks to pull.” Needless to say he returned to school without gym clothes or “that” tooth. He said that all the kids were standing there in new shoes and gym clothes and he was the only one dressed in school clothes. I won’t even give that horrible coach room on this page to say what he said. But my dad never went back to that school and later joined the Navy to be able to eat and get an education there.

In my life, I have discovered a lot more about mean adults. As Jane Austen said: “I was quiet but I was not blind.” in observing them, we  learn how  to deal with them. As kids we knew them as bullies. As adults we call them difficult.  I have strategically positioned my life around those people, avoiding them as best I could. I’ve viewed them a little like “land mines”  and tried to surround myself with amazing people and must say that I’ve been pretty successful in doing so.  Though, we all know that even though we choose most of the people we spend our free time with, there are a few who slip by that we can’t control, work related, family, and a few that we let in on our own omission.

Sometimes we have to look deeper and understand that hurting people hurt people. That where we see the two choices, to be nice or not, and  two paths that seem pretty obvious which to take, we must realize that in their pain, they are only seeing one. In the past, it has been so hard for me to not say what I am thinking. Let’s just say that the filter has been slightly in need of adjustment for a long time. I have to intentionally realize that the guy who cut me off or cut in line, has no idea who I am or is personally doing anything to me in particular, and that I have no idea what is going on in their life. It isn’t always easy to just be nice, to stay on the high road, to keep my joy and not give anyone else the power to to take my joy away. Nor is it my responsibility to punish them for their bad behavior.

Being nice is as simple as that. We can conquer negative energy with our peace.  But what about the ones in our lives that is not a stranger that we may never see again, but someone that we have to deal with daily? It takes practice not to react. It takes even more to be “nice” and understanding. Because sometimes the ones that challenge you more, teaches you the most. That people and situations are both powerless without your reaction. I remember once I accidentally cut someone off who was in my blind spot. I saw it all unfold in my rear view mirror as all I could do was hold my breath and pray. It was a near miss.


As the guy pulled up next to me, I knew he deserved my eye contact and I gave it to him as I mouthed as sincere a “SORRY” as I could without him hearing it. It totally diffused the whole situation in less than a second. This big burly guy got a soft look on his face and accepted my apology all inside the magical moment of respecting each other. I was wrong. He deserved my recognition of that. How easy would it be if that happened every time on the road. No matter who we are, regardless of age, gender, race, we need to respect each other. It’s as simple as that.

In the end, the only power we have is to set an example. To realize that everyone deserves kindness and respect, even the ones being rude to you. Not because they are nice but because you are.

40 thoughts on “Being nice… IS as Simple as That

  1. I have so much time for this post. I was severely bullied as a young child when I moved to the UK from South Africa. It has deep baring scars that still pop up from now and again. If people just stop to think what their actions can do to others then the world would be a much easier place to live in!

    If you have time, check out y latest blog post at http://www.tootinghustle.wordpress.com and let me know what you think! There is a bit of humor after my heavy comment 🙂

    Happy Blogging x

    1. I definitely will! Thank you for taking the time to read! I am sorry for your bad experiences. Childhood is such a short time in our life span but can do far more damage than adults realize. I wrote a poem about 4 years ago called
      “child within” that you might like. I think it was in my April archives under the tag of child abuse.

  2. Oh wow! Diane, I needed this today. I struggle with the negative energy that creeps into my spirit at time. I have been and continue working on getting rid of it, of not reacting negatively even if no one sees it That is one of the things I prayed about this morning, asking God to help me overcome.

    Thank you for sharing this post.
    Love and hugs my dear Blogger FRIEND!

    1. Ann, I am so glad that this post helped you! Your comment helped me! I am in a transition in my life and I am grateful for any affirmations I can get! LOL. You’re comment is a blessing! Thank you!

  3. Beautifully said Diane. Kindness goes a long way. One kind gesture can turn an ugly moment. And then again, there will always be those who just enjoy being mean, sadly because they may not understand happiness. ❤

    1. Deb
      You know so well. But amazingly have turned out to be one of the kindest people I know.
      But not understanding happiness is a definite concept. Well said!!

  4. Bullying is a cowardly act and the people that do those things are loathsome. Coward is a word you never hear anymore for some reason. Terrorism is cowardly. When you attack unarmed, unsuspecting non-combatants, including children, with assault rifles or hidden bombs that is cowardly.

    1. I know. You are right! And… It is a scary world now days. I can only pray for the people today in Florida. So sad. You have to wonder about people who end up taking innocent lives and where they started and what happened in their lives to make them become who they are. 😦
      Thanks for reading!

  5. ” being nice and sharing our love is completely natural as it is within us all, being mean and hating each other takes extra work as we Walk our paths through this journey of life”.

  6. I remember the bullies. Like you, as an adult, I have attempted to avoid negative, sour people at all cost. And you’re so right about kindness being a deterrent to folks becoming angry and augmenting emotional responses that lead to trouble. Thanks for sharing. (You’re still a very good writer! :>)

  7. Oh girl!!! This is a post I feel.. I live it… I am it! LOL I still can see and feel every nasty child I met in my growing up years. I tried to avoid them in school.. almost to the point of being a recluse. I hated people.. hahaha some would say not much has changed.. but I know better.. I have changed.. yes they still get on my nerves.. but now I understand.. and it only took me 4blahblahblah some years. I can not change people.. I have no control over who and what they will do. The only thing I do control is my reaction to them. I have been trying to teach my child this.. and I think she is starting to get it. You are the kind of friend I would have adored having as a child. Love you dear one.. Your an amazing woman.. mother and friend. Anyone who could not see that is blind to the world. ❤

    1. Tracey,
      I love you. YOU are the greatest! I was in Walmart the other day and this lady was so rude to the cashier. Before that, she stepped out of line. I was reading a magazine so I wasn’t paying attention until I felt a tap on my shoulder. She huffingly told me that she’d gotten out of line because she thought someone had called her over to their line. She was mistaken and wanted her place back in front of me. There was no one behind me. So I just moved back and let her back in and continued to read that article I was reading. She must have expected a fight because, she said “well, that’s okay you have just as many things as I do.” I said “no problem, go ahead of me.” So she did. Later I finished my article and I heard her say : “HELLOOOOO” to the cashier. It ended up that the woman was pressing the wrong things on the key pad… sooo helllooo lady it wasn’t the cashier’s fault. Though the cashier never said a thing and just guided her as to how to do it. The woman never apologized and huffed off totally knowing she’d been the one in the wrong but obviously had issues.
      When I stepped up to the cashier, I complimented her on how she handled it, thinking she was used to it and by now oblivious to the mistreatment. When she said… “I KNOW!! Helllooo!!! Could you believe her?!” LOL. Obviously, she did notice. But was as nice as could be. It made me think of you…. xoxo

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