Thursday, October 9, 2008

Do Something Nice Today

I just heard about Operation Nice which is kind of like Random Acts of Kindness, which is all meant to put a smile on someone's face - even your own.

As someone from the New York metro area, being nice around these parts is almost an oxymoron. I mean, people in this area try to be nice, but maybe don't express it to the highest level. A study on the geography of personality in the US ranked New York and New Jersey toward the bottom for positive traits like agreeableness and conscientiousness, and toward the top for neuroticism. We're notorious for road rage, for being cynical and unfriendly, for complaining, for just having an overall attitude. You got a problem with that?? A point of pride for those who live here, our hard edges just may not be appreciated by everyone else.

You know what else we're overloaded with? Stress, depression, and worse. Our lifestyle is taking the life right from under us. Will it change? Probably not. We move fast, talk fast, it's go-go-go, and if you get in our way, watch out. That's just how it's done here.

Not to say that we're all meanies. The study, of course, talks in generalities, and most of us do have good hearts, we like to laugh and smile, and interact (in a good way). But, when I think of doing a random act of kindness - like leaving a note on someone's windshield - I have to stop and think, "Is this nice, or is this a violation of privacy on the verge of stalking?" I bet people in the Midwest don't think twice about it. They were ranked as the nicest (and to my friends out in the Midwest, you really, really are!)

So, let's try to put aside our geographical differences and stereotypes and try to do something nice today. I know just the smallest thing can make me smile, and I'd like to do the same for you. Maybe I won't leave a note, but the sentiment is there just the same :)

1 comment:

Kim said...

I couldn't agree more! That is why I have coordinated a Sweetest Day Celebration in the Town of Newton. Saturday, October 18th, merchants will be offering "sweet" sales and incentives. We will have a food and pet collection for local pantries. We are also having a baking contest. More importantly, we are recognizing individuals and groups who have been nominated because of their kind acts throughout the year. Hope you can make it. For more info, visit the Greater Newton Area Chamber of Commerce website at