Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Crazy Little Thing Called "Nice"

Ok, today I am embracing the crazy.  I am going to propose a radical new idea.  Oh yeah, you better believe it's going to be big.  Here it is-are you ready?  Let's be nice to each other. On Purpose.

Yup. You heard me.  Let's be nice to other people.  Like really nice.  Like on purpose nice.  And I'm not talking just to your family.  Oh no.  We are going to do this right.  Let's be nice to people we don't know well, maybe even strangers.  Even the people who "keep to themselves."  Especially them.  Because come to find out, according to modern psychology, us humans need each other.  Article on Psychology Today

Oh yes, you freedom lovin', gun-totin', independent American thinker who doesn't need anyone and can pull yourself up by your own bootstraps- even you.  We need positive social relationships.  We need connection with one another.  If nothing else, we need at least a few people we have contact with who can notice when our thoughts are going to crazytown- and gently guide us back to reality.

And then we can do the same thing for them someday-because at some points we will all go a little nuts.

Where is all this coming from you ask?  Well, you see, last week after yet another mass shooting in the U.S., a radio talk show host in my area asked his listeners what he thought was the root cause of the near constant irrational violence we see in the US.  It got me wondering if maybe there is a common denominator in the lives of those who commit these crimes, that individual members of our society could take control of and change.

And this is what I came up with.  (Close friends please let me know if I have gone to crazy town on this one.)

In a country where we value individuality and independence as our top priority, we pretend that we don't need each other.  I mean just check our Facebook pages and Pinterest boards.  Life is blissful and perfect! (insert smily emoticon here.)  But here's the truth (as I see it anyway.)  Life is hard.  No seriously, sometimes life completely sucks.  And the only reason life is worth living when times are sucky is that we can have positive human connections to those around us.  And ice cream.  But mostly human connection.

So what do we do for people who have to go through the sucky parts alone?  We should probably just let them be right?  Give 'em their space and privacy?  Um, no.  Remember crazy town?  I am most likely to visit that particular locale when I am upset, lonely, angry, or a combination.  Do you know why my train doesn't get that far?  Because the people I am positively connected to are sure to de-rail it.

So can I offer a suggestions? Something that every person in society can do that might help curb the violence? Can we all please agree NOT to give each other space in the name of respecting privacy?  Let's keep an eye on each other, and take an active interest in each others lives.  Especially the lives of those we may not know, or of people who just "keep to themselves", or who might live in different circumstances.

Because the only way we're going to get through the sucky-crazy-wonderfulness that is life,
is together.

Looking for easy everyday ways to "be nice on purpose?" check out my Everyday Service pinterest board!