It just comes down to being nice
I started this blog because I wanted to write about how each day can still be made special for our families and friends despite our busy lives. I believe that it’s in the details. The extra care and ten minutes you put into a meal, the homemade thank you, the creative activity you think up on a rainy day. Its about thinking of someone else first. I also believe its about how we treat one another.
I was raised in a strict but loving household where values are held high. Over the years I’ve felt increasingly self conscience to emulate those values and etiquette at times for fear that my actions appear over the top. I’ve had a lot of conversations about this over the past number of months as to whether it is a generational difference or a shift in the overall mindset of people in general. From serving a big homemade feast, to a hand written note, to expressing gratitude and respect, it seems life has changed into a gear that often doesn’t allow for those very details that make each day special, so rather than coming across with the intended sentiment of love and care, there is often a lingering unspoken question of pretense versus a genuine act of kindness. Rest assured, as our family and very best friends know, in my case it’s not only genuine, but filled with passion. I live for this stuff. And I would even argue that values, etiquette and acts of kindness are making their way back “in”. I will be their biggest proponent, and seek to share with you along our journey wherever we see those sentiments making a concerted comeback in the main stream. Today I have three examples to share:
Recently we’ve seen the ICBC ads on television encouraging drivers to give “a wave” of gratitude when someone lets you in – simple act of respect that the insurance corporation understands will go a long way to reducing road rage and resulting accidents. They have also found it has increased the amount chatter about appropriate driving etiquette through their online campaign; “Lose the Attitude. Gain the gratitude”. The corporation raising awareness about the wave has made for many a happy motorist, finally getting a little appreciation again for the small acts of kindness that make ‘getting there’ all that much easier.
You may have seen a recent commercial, facebook post or news story in Canada on People for Good. The drivers of the campaign are simply asking Canadians to perform random acts of kindness in the effort to change a day, an attitude, a moment in someone’s life and ultimately to make Canada a better place. Small things each day that can make life a little bit better.
At values.com the not for profit Foundation for a Better Life (before you roll your eyes: non religious/non political) seeks to embrace values – what ever you value – and to share them. The sentiment is that people who live and share their values can help make our world a better place. It doesn’t pass judgement on what should or should not be valued it just stops us in our tracks and asks us to think about the word, and what it is we really do value. Then to live out those values.
To me these examples are vastly different but all roll up to the same thing: it just comes down to being nice. Good etiquette, showing courtesy, random acts of kindness, living our values – its about looking to give back to a world that we all take from every day. And we can all do that.
PS: I took the quiz at values.com and was surprised with the huge number of values I came out with – I have a lot of work to do! Among them were: love,compassion, honesty, appreciation, loyalty, optimism, innovation, determination and passion. What are yours?