If someone were to ask me, “What makes you happy?”, my answer would be pretty simple. I’m not a woman who cares about owning an expensive pair of shoes. I’m not a woman who cares which fashion trends are ‘in’. I’m not a woman who needs a beautiful house, lots of money, or extravagant gifts to be happy. I feel happy just being in the company of my family and friends. I feel happy just spending a day at the park with my children. I feel happy just living in moments that make me smile.
But when do I feel the happiest, though?
I feel the happiest when I am nice to someone else. When I am nice to someone else, whether it be my family, my friends, or even to a stranger in the street; I get this tingly feeling inside of me. It leaves a smile on my face that I just can’t wipe away. I choose to be nice because it’s a big part of who I am. I’m nice because I can be.
Being nice is just who I am
I remember when I was 14 years old. I was sitting in the school library and I overheard another girl telling her friend that she needed a pen. I didn’t know these girls, but I walked right over and offered mine to them. I remember how grateful they were and the smiles on their faces. I remember sitting back down in my seat, and grinning to myself. It felt good knowing that I’d helped someone. As small as the gesture had been, it had made a big impact on them and on me. I believe these small gestures matter more than we realise.
Photo Credit: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I was the sort of 16 year old that couldn’t walk past the Project Compassion donations box and not put in some money, I always thought someone was worse off than me. I spent weeks fundraising over $200 for the 40 Hour Famine and passed up a delicious dinner at my grandparents’ house to see the 40 hours through. I just wanted to make a difference.
I was the 17 year old who would juggle her high school studies with giving advice to her friends, because it meant the world to her to see other people happy. I just didn’t want them to feel alone.
Even as a 24 year old now, it makes me smile to pay someone else a compliment. It makes me smile to wash the dishes at my friend’s house. It makes me smile to ask someone how their day is. It makes me smile to share my friend’s posts, comment on their blogs, or look at their photos. It makes me smile just to show someone that I care.
Being nice is a good thing
My life might be incredibly busy being the mother of a 2, 4 and 6 year old (all of whom have developmental delays), but I think it’s still important to care about others as well. It only takes a second to make someone feel loved. It only takes a second to put someone else first.
Helping others has been proven to have a positive effect on our emotional and physical health, so being nice can be beneficial for both us and others. It can increase our short-term and long-term happiness.
Be nice because you can be
I choose to be nice, not because I have to but because I want to be.
- You may not need to let that car or person move in front of you, but it might make that person’s day just a little bit easier.
- You may not need to be friendly to the receptionist at the doctor’s office, but maybe your laughter might help them get through the day.
- You may not need to tell someone how well they’re doing with their life, but sometimes people just need that reassurance.
It may be important to think of our own needs, but it’s also important to think of others from time to time.
We all have essentially the same goals – to live a meaningful life, be surrounded by loving people, and to feel happy. So try your best to help others achieve the goals that, you too, are striving for.
Don’t be nice because you feel compelled to be. Be nice because it makes you happy to see others happy.
Think twice about the difference you’re making to people’s lives.
And just be nice because you can be.
Thuy Le (formerly known as Thuy Yau) is a freelance writer and Youth Work graduate living in Perth, Australia. She loves to share her own personal experiences about overcoming adversity, as she believes that human beings are more capable than they realise. She writes to make a positive difference in the world and to inspire others to learn from themselves and their own experiences. Her writing has been discussed on radio, won writing contests, appeared on The Huffington Post UK and major Australian sites such as news.com.au, SMH, Kidspot and Essential Kids. She is currently writing her first book.
5 thoughts on “Be Nice Because You Can Be”
So true. Sometimes just the simple things make us happy, and it doesn’t take much effort to just be nice to people. Seems too many people these days don’t even try to be nice and help others out. Also, you never know how your kindness will be repaid. Sometimes even more than you think!
You’ve hit the nail on the head again, Phil! Being nice is almost effortless but it’s becoming more scarce. People tend to underestimate how these small gestures of kindness can go a long way.
But we need to set that aside and focus on our own actions, and be nice because we know it’s good to be. It’s our own actions that matter most.
Thanks for reading!
Thats very succinctly expressed,Thuy.Doing good is is an inherent desire.Altruism always dawns on us.From heaven surely.
They say everyone needs at least four hugs a day to survive and eight hugs a day to grow.”Hugs” are selfless acts which cost you nothing.You can smile at someone, you can open the door for someone, you can allow the speeding car to overtake you .You can help the old lady cross the street, you can pick up a fallen packet and replace it on the rack in the supermarket.
The beauty is, hugs are best given without expecting reward or applause.Even when no one is looking.
Doing good is quite cheap, but “priceless”
I completely agree! All these small gestures are effortless but the reward is worth so much, both to us and the other person!
[…] always been the sort of person who wants to help others. I’ll offer my shoulder to cry on, my ears to listen, my heart to empathise. I […]