Every day should be 'National Do Something Nice Day'

Friday, October 5, 2018

We saw a recent study that showed surprising reasons why people live longer.

Stopping smoking, good diet and medical care, exercise and marital status were on the list, of course. But among the top reasons? How much we interact with people around us.

Perhaps that shouldn’t be surprising; we all know people whose motto is “I’d rather wear out than rust out.” They’re quick with a smile or “hello,” always available to volunteer, they seem to be at concerts and parades, they’re active in their church.

So perhaps today’s designation as National Do Something Nice Day is more than just a whim.

It takes no effort to smile at the grocery store checker, say “Have a good day” to the drive-through attendant or wave to a neighbor.

Perhaps that’s why the Midwest, with its reputation for “nice,” is home to a disproportionate number of older people.

Social media is a major vehicle for interaction, and sending a genuine compliment via Tweet or Facebook is one idea. Refrain from writing a critical post — how about going ahead and writing it, but then deleting before posting?

We tend to criticize parents with unruly children, but how about complimenting a parent of a well-behaved child?

Involved in a gossip session? Butt in with something nice about the person.

Cook a meal or do a load of laundry for a friend who just had a baby or is going through a difficult time. A church is a great place to find someone to help, and don’t be surprised if it is a two-way street.

How about shutting off your phone at mealtime? Especially when out with your spouse or significant other?

Find ways to spend time with someone who just moved to town, or someone sitting by themselves at a party.

While you’re putting away your summer clothes and bringing out the winter, why not donate those you haven’t worn in years to a thrift shop? How about having a free garage “sale”?

Truly listen while someone is speaking, without thinking up a response, and definitely don’t interrupt.

Get good service from someone? Let their boss know, and be generous with your tip.

When you have the right-of-way, take it, but if someone seems to be in a rush, let them into your lane.

Have you been slighted by someone? Forgive them and never bring it up again. Holding a grudge takes much more energy.

Help a mom with her baby stroller, let the person behind you with one or two items go ahead in the checkout lane.

Give someone a book you think they’d like, drop a tip in the jar at the coffee shop and offer to give someone a ride or run an errand for them.

Out for a walk? Pick up some litter. Take a parking spot that is farther away, visit a senior citizen in the nursing home.

Babysit for a single mom for free, adopt a rescue pet and remind yourself that everyone is fighting their own battles.

Plant a tree. Drop off extra dog or cat food at the Humane Society.

You get the idea.

If you need more, Jessica Misener lists 101 of them on Buzzfeed, https://bsfd.it/2Ebn5xh

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