Do we need to play the Nice Game?
When the occasional negative comment was made among my family and friends, I would ask if we needed to play the Nice Game? It was a spin-off of “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say it at all,” but the Nice Game as I refer to it, meant that following a negative comment, the person was required to say three nice things. For instance, if we passed someone who had purple sparkly shoes that were 4 sizes too big, or they had duct tape wrapped around their cowboy boots and someone commented later about “wow, did you see those awful shoes,” they were reminded about how everyone has their own special kind of style that they love, or that maybe they were just getting by. The Nice Game required the Negative Nellie to say 3 nice things, like “man, they must work hard to have worn out their shoes,” or “the purple sure matched well with their hair.” Maybe that train of thought led them to think “how boring this world would be if we all dressed alike” or “what could I do to help that person.” It is an intentional process of looking at things with a positive attitude.
I’ve read a lot of negative comments lately about wearing a mask or being asked by businesses to wear a mask, and I just want to reply “do we need to play the Nice Game?” Stop and think about the process we are all going though. The uncertainty of almost every aspect of the pandemic. The confusion of what is the right thing to do to keep staff and valued customers safe, and the stress of those decisions along with the reduced income and other struggles. If we were playing the Nice Game, people would be saying, “I really respect that business owner for doing what they think is best, or I am so impressed with the way they have created unique ways to serve their customers though all of this, or I appreciate their tireless dedication and concern for our community.”
It is time to be nice, to be grateful for our businesses and our incredible community. As we navigate these challenging times together, let’s skip the negative comments and go straight to the positive ones to lift each other up. We will get through this together, and I have no doubt that we will come out even stronger by being intentionally NICE.
~ Debbie Hawkinson, Executive Director, McPherson Chamber of Commerce