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Thursday, January 08, 2004
...because nice matters....

I was thinking yesterday while I was writing the State of the Stitching Address, and went off into a tangent while I was writing about 'Because Nice Matters'. I edited it from the final copy and saved it for you for today.

Nice does indeed matter, don't you think? Everything comes around full circle eventually, and how nice you are to those around you and to yourself will matter. I'd hate to be the one who kicked puppies for fun as a kid and be facing someone who is a dog lover at your final judgment of your life. Y'know what I mean?

A very wise database engineer I worked with what feels like a lifetime ago sent me this back in 1998. The thing that stunned me was that he sent it on my wedding anniversary that year. I've always kept it pinned up in my offices at work as a reminder of the wisdom:

Watch your thoughts... they become words.
Watch your words... they become actions.
Watch your actions... they become habits.
Watch your habits... they become character.
Watch your character... it becomes your destiny.

I find that to be very true. If you start thinking obsessively bad thoughts about a situation, eventually you'll say something, and then do something, and then you're on a track that you might not break out of. Anger is a very powerful emotion and drives people to do destructive things.

On the flip side, Nice is a powerful emotion/state of being too - and it's one that can make you very tired, if you have to work at it. The sad thing is, no one should ever have to work at being nice. Nice should just exist as a regular state of being. Sadly, that's not always the case, for if it were, we'd probably have a lot less conflict in the world than we currently do.

I think I'd forgotten about being nice, and how to be nice, and how the simplest things could brighten someone's day immeasurably when I received the unexpected gift of the pattern and silks for Because Nice Matters. I was in a holding pattern where I was feeling like a doormat, and was sick of being stepped on (partly because I was nice, partly because I just didn't have the energy to defend myself). I was so blown away by an unknown someone's kindness that I just sat there for a few minutes without speaking. A & B thought it was pretty... DH thought that someone must appreciate me very much to have done something like that - and was pretty amazed that I was still stunned when I could speak a half hour later.

And he was even more surprised when I said I wasn't going to try and find out who it was who sent it, but instead take it as a wonderful anonymous present in the spirit of what it tries to convey - that it's something nice, for someone nice, because nice mattered. And I've tried to live up to that for the last year. I still smile when I look at the kit and the silks because someone cared enough to think of me and send it to me.

So remember that... nice does matter. To you and to the people that you're nice to...

...and it can touch those people in the most unexpected ways.