Now for something completely different: Being Nice.

It is hard for any of us to turn on the news right now. Most of it is so depressing. We hear of bailouts in the trillions of dollars. Possible job losses in the millions all over the world. And along with everything else…for North Americans, we are coming up on a season celebrated as a new beginning and a new hope.

But closer to home, I see a trend happening that is really starting to get out of control yet it doesn’t have to be that way.

As an active member of the human race am I the only one who sees people who are so caught up in their own worlds that they have lost the ability to interact with the people around them?

We compete for everything. We are never satisfied with anything and everything. Some of us turn to rudeness to get our point across.  Are we becoming so disconnected with the world around us that we no longer care about our public perception anymore? Are we bystanders to bad behaviour? Not major societal infractions; I’m just talking about simple respect for others.

I’m in a lunch line the other day and saw my all time favourite in the line up: a guy on a cell phone like we were all just so happy to share time with him in his personal phone booth.  I have to hand it to him he can multitask. Not well, but he put on a good show. He ignored the young woman behind the counter, got his order in between conversations, added a few “whatevers” to his conversation, paid for his food without missing a beat on his call. And best of all, he was very adept at dodging her attempt to thank him for the business when she handed him his change. Yeah, “Really nice there, guy.  So rude, dude!

When it was my turn thanked her for being so pleasant and patient. We exchanged eye contact and she said something about how she liked her job and hoped I would enjoy the food. Wow!

As a wise little rabbit, once said, “If you can’t say something nice… don’t say nothing at all.”  But if you can same something nice, say it. Find something even if it’s just that you appreciate their effort or just smile and nod at them to acknowledge their existence.

A kind action can go a long way in this world and as far as I know costs nothing but a few minutes out of your life.