Say something nice

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Be Kind

At the Memorial Day parade, Scott Peeples, Executive Director of the Fox Valley Warming Shelter
and Tony Gonzalez, Vice President of Community Development at United Way Fox Cities,
pose in "be kind" t-shirts sold by NAMI Fox Valley.

Contributor: Nanci Micke, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at United Way Fox Cities

Did you know today is National Say Something Nice Day?
Mayor Keith Summey of North Charleston, South Carolina proclaimed June 1, as Say Something Nice Day in 2006. The purpose of this holiday is to counteract bullying and the lack of civility and common courtesy that is growing among people in today’s world. It is sad to think that we need a day to remind us to be nice, but I think we all would appreciate more kindness and courtesy in our lives.

Here is my scenario: I am sitting happily at the stop light and the car behind me lays on the horn because I have not turned right on red. I want to yell right back, “Don’t you see the NO RIGHT ON RED sign?” And my happy start to the day is now dimmed. We all have stories we could tell about short tempers and rude encounters. But we also know how differently we feel when the opposite happens.

Over the Memorial Day holiday, my husband and I did a lot of bicycle riding. The weather was great and the sun was shining. We rode our bikes from home to the Appleton Memorial Day parade. As we wound our way through the neighborhoods, people called out hellos. Moms and dads pushing strollers, people mowing lawns, even the guy driving the hay baler waved. When we found our spot on College Avenue there were more smiles and cute little kids waving tiny American flags. Everyone stood and was respectful as the first contingent of flag bearers marched by us.

It was a holiday, and you could feel people being more relaxed and not as stressed. It was like we all found our best selves and took some time to be friendly. On this National Say Something Nice Day, let’s take a few minutes to be kind, and say something nice. Let’s be at our holiday best, and make a difference in the lives of those around us.