I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard myself telling my daughters to ‘just be nice’ to each other.
I can say that it’s a lot.
I found myself thinking about that word ‘nice’ today. It’s a strangely bland and yet deeply powerful word.
On the one hand, it can feel like a nothing word; a lazy descriptor for something we cannot think of a more interesting way to define.
‘Do you like my new shoes?’
‘Oh, yes, they’re nice.’
And that’s often a tell that we don’t actually like them that much.
But, on the other hand, ‘nice’ can capture so much positive sentiment in those simple four letters.
Though ‘nice’ might be weak when it comes to letting a friend or family member down gently about their recent purchase, it can also encapsulate all the good that we want people to live out.
That’s what I am trying to call out when I remind my girls to ‘just be nice’. Behind that word ‘nice’ is a desire to see them being generous, kind, forgiving, compassionate, and more.
I look at the world around us – thinking particularly of social media – and I think many of us need the reminder to just be nice!
That person we don’t know, who had to pull out of the Olympics, we don’t have to be abusive. That celebrity we don’t like, we don’t need to let them know that. Just be nice!
It feels like ‘just be nice’ is a mantra we could all do to latch onto right now. Before we write that comment, or say those words, we need to pause, ask ourselves if it’s nice, and then proceed accordingly.
It’s not rocket science. We can all do this. At our core, we are all decent – nice! – people. Let’s not lose sight of that.