Friday, September 4, 2015

Be NICE, gosh darnit!

I am getting very disheartened with all the meanness out there.  It's everywhere, and it makes me sad.  The recent MTV VMAs had me feeling really bad for some celebrities and all the ridicule they endured after the award show (Kim Kardashian's outfit choice; Justin Bieber's hairdo; Justin Bieber's tearful end to his performance, etc.).  When did it become cool to be mean?  I know some people might think it's silly that I'm using celebrities as an example, but they're the example that I have, so that's what you're getting. 

This is the first time I've linked up with Amy and Karli for Oh Hey, Friday!, and typically these posts are fun and light-hearted.  But all this nastiness is weighing heavily on my heart, so I wanted to use this post as an opportunity to give some lessons on being nice.  Maybe next week I'll do a fun Friday post.

5 Rules Nice People Follow
  1. Never ever EVER "boo" anyone...ever.  Kanye West and Justin Bieber both recently mentioned being booed at recent public appearances.  Admittedly, I'm not the biggest Kanye West fan, but I felt really bad for him when he brought that up during his acceptance speech at the VMAs.  I've always enjoyed Justin Bieber's music (I love pop music, I can't deny it), but I know he's made some bad choices over the past couple of years.  But the kid is trying to get his act together.  And when he told Jimmy Fallon this week that he'd been booed the last time he was at an awards show, my heart broke for him.  Despite their celebrity statuses, these guys still have feelings, and I bet they felt pretty wretched after being booed in front of thousands of people.  Regardless of your opinion of someone, I doubt they did anything to you that they deserve to be publicly humiliated for.  Booing makes me cringe.  Even so-called light-hearted sports rivalry booing.  It's such a mean sound.  Don't do it.  Not even as a joke to a friend.  Just don't.
  2. Never judge another person until you've walked a mile in their shoes.  Nobody is perfect...not even you.  Keep this in mind next time you want to judge or criticize another person.  People make mistakes.  They shouldn't need to pay for those mistakes for the rest of their lives.  Sometimes making mistakes can be a catalyst for change.  It's not your job to judge someone for the choices they make in their lives.  A lot of time this judgment and criticism leads to lots of gossip and unfounded assumptions, which can be toxic.  Stop it.
  3. Treat others the way you want to be treated.  If it would hurt your feelings, don't do/say it to/about someone else.  Don't make fun of people's clothes or haircut...don't make fun of anyone's anything, actually.  Don't talk behind people's backs.  Don't call people names.  Don't use a nasty tone when you speak to others.  Also, do nice little things for people that you would like others to do for you.  Let people merge on the highway or turn out of a parking lot in front of you.  Forgive the person who cut you off.  Open a door for someone when their hands are full (or they're struggling with a stroller).  Offer to help your friends or family with something and don't expect something in return.  Pay it forward.
  4. If you wouldn't say it to their face, then you shouldn't say it on the Internet.  The internet gives people a false sense of courage due to the degree of anonymity it provides.  Cyberbullying is NOT acceptable, regardless of whether the recipient is a classmate or a public figure.  I follow a lot of celebrities on Instagram, and some of the comments I see people posting are just plain mean.  These bullies/trolls/haters would most certainly not spout all this hate if they ran into these people on the street.  I'm sure some of the kids who are bullying classmates online wouldn't be so hateful in person, either.  Saying nasty things to and about others on the internet doesn't make you cool.  It makes you mean.  Stop it.
  5. If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.  I said this a lot to my kindergarteners when I was teaching.  There were many times that a little child would blurt out, "That drawing is ugly!  That doesn't look like a dog!" or "Your socks are weird" or something similar.  I always told my kinders that it's okay to have those opinions or thoughts, but it's not necessary to say them out loud just because that's what you're thinking.  I think this logic needs to be repeated to adults, as well.  Don't even start claiming your right to free speech on this one, either.  Some things are just better left unsaid.  You are certainly entitled to your own opinion, but sometimes your opinion doesn't need to be broadcast to the world, especially at the expense of another person's feelings.
If all else fails, keep this in mind:


Now, don't think that I don't have my own moments of weakness.  I am not innocent when it comes to "not nice" behaviors.  I have made comments about people's outfits (not to their face).  I've judged people.  I've participated in gossip.  I've used a rude tone when talking to others.  I know these practices are undesirable, and quite frankly, I think that they make me have a more negative attitude and mindset.  I'm working to rid these mean behaviors from my life.  And I hope that more people will, too.  It's simple: we need more nice and much less bad.

Be nice!

And have a lovely {long} weekend!

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