Early Summer 2011 - The Power of Nice
At my last mammogram, the tech greeted me as if I were about to get a spa facial instead of smash my breasts between cold plates of steel. This woman was so upbeat and NICE that for the next 15 minutes I forgot I was supposed to be uncomfortable. When we said our goodbyes, it dawned on me that I had experienced no discomfort whatsoever. What I had experienced was the power of Nice.
Another person who has this down is my dental hygienist. She makes getting my teeth cleaned feel like a trip to the Comedy Store. She's living proof that nice has nothing to do with being an enabling doormat goody-goody. (Once she made me laugh so hard the suction tube thing flew across the room.Who knew dental hygiene could be so much fun?!)
I've noticed 'nice' has gotten a bad rap over the years though. It's no longer hip or sexy, and it certainly doesn't make for engaging reality TV. If it can transform mammograms and teeth cleaning into happy times and make us feel good down to our molars, why don't we all aspire to seek it out and emulate it more? When I asked a particularly kind Manhattan cab driver this question, he said he learned from his father that to compete in New York City, you had to be nice -- not just act nice, but be nice. He said it was a matter of character. If you had it, you would stand out from the others and thrive.
When you think about it, it's not rocket science. My mom taught me this very formula when I was a child:'You catch more flies with honey,' she'd say. Being nice is a choice, and it both brings nice back to you and makes you feel happy. It takes no more time or effort than being a curmudgeon (especially if you're in the habit), and it costs nothing for practicing. What you get in return is priceless, from healthy blood pressure to fewer gray hairs.
So this summer, whether we're holed up in an airport for four hours or stuck in traffic for two, let's not forget the powers of being boldly and bravely nice. If the positivity and kindness of one person can transform periodontal planing, just think of what it can do for our summer vacations!