It’s Not Just About Us

— Written By Christy Strickland and last updated by
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There seem to be so many things lately that just make me scratch my head and wonder. Social media and the news seem to highlight so many negative and mean-spirited happenings. Why are people so mean to each other? Can’t we all just get along? Why would someone say something that mean to someone else? Where is their heart? I also wonder why there are so many abandoned houses, cars, and buildings. Why do people litter? These are our communities, and if we don’t take care of them, who will? I mean, really, I have a lot of those questions running through my mind. I’m pretty sure others do as well.

The more I think about it, the more I am taken back to another article I wrote a little over a year ago entitled “Being the Nice Kid”. The article focused on helping our children be nicer to each other. But what about us adults? Maybe we should be a little nicer to each other and to our community. How do we teach each other to be nicer?

I have collected these ideas from a variety of resources with a lot of similar ideas. Here are a few things to think about:

  • Nice people do things for others without any expectation of return on their investment. If someone is in need they reach out and help. Sometimes that is hard but nice people do it anyway.
  • Nice people take responsibility for their imperfections. We all have them, so it is not helpful to point the finger and blame others. Just take ownership of your own mishaps and focus on how to do better next time – that takes courage.
  • Nice people are honest with themselves and others. They are humble about their own strengths and weaknesses while at the same time accepting criticism and advice.
  • Nice people choose to act fairly for the greater good. It’s not all about us as individuals, it’s about our communities and others.
  • Nice people are generous. It’s not just about being generous with money or material things. Being generous means giving back to your communities because there is a need. It means picking up litter, or helping neighbors clean up their yards or abandoned areas. It’s through giving that we receive.
  • Nice people are kind. That sounds so simple, yet it is so rare in society today. If someone accidentally says something wrong, or gives us a strange look, or hurriedly blows us off because they have a lot on their minds we are ready to give them an earful. Think about the joy we might receive if we gave them some slack and tried to see a different point of view.

Maybe we should all try to be a little less offended by others and remember that everything that happens is not about us! Focus on the big picture of making our community the best it can be and encourage others to do the same.

Being nice may seem like a dull option, but we all appreciate people who are genuinely nice. Truth be told, being nice doesn’t happen automatically. It requires effort and energy. More often than not, we don’t feel like being nice. Nonetheless, in our heart of hearts, we know that it’s nice to be nice.

For more information, contact Christy Strickland, County Extension Director, at (910) 671-3276, by email at Christy_Strickland@ncsu.edu, or visit our website.

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