On our frig, right between an Albert Einstein magnet and a booster button of my son as a high school soccer player (two of my favorite curly-headed men), is a very important message: “BE NICE OR LEAVE – Thank You.”
Admittedly, it could be construed as abrupt, except that saying “thank you” is pretty damned nice. Wouldn’t you agree?
It’s odd how sometimes folks who have a lot to be happy about — just aren’t, and how often people who have the least to fuss about are the hardest to please. I could go on and on and on and on, but then…that would make me one of them: Not too nice and full of self-induced woe.
Here’s an idea: Stop being mean. Stop complaining. Start paying attention.
What you’ll begin to discern is that everyone has a story. Some stories are tragic; some are joyful; some are silly and some are mundane. Once you stop whining, you’ll begin to learn the wonderful differences between the stories, and you will gradually find your own story’s place on the spectrum of joy.
It’s likely that you will discover that those who “appear” to have the most to be sad about, or who actually have a reason to be a bit less nice (thank you) – are sometimes the most content. They seem to know who they are and what they’re about; they seem to have realized that the only thing we really control is our own attitude, and they seem to know that being nice means you are almost always invited to the Party of Life.
So, BE NICE OR LEAVE – Thank You. We’re having a party here.