Why be nice?
I recently was asked by one of my Twitter followers why I tweet once a day the date and to be nice to one another and to be polite. There are three reasons that I will share and the rest are conversations for later.
The first reason started during the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 events. I remembered how the world changed that day, but not just in the innocence and lives lost but for a brief period of time when everyone was nice to each other. I was not just the local community, it was wide spread to the country, and most of the world. I experienced it myself at Los Angeles Airport, LAX, the morning of Sept 14. I was on one of the first flights out of LAX. I arrived at the airport four hours before my flight. The place was packed. Security was tight, there were lines everywhere. However everyone was polite and nice. People in the line were sharing their food with strangers. There was no pushing and shoving or frustration at the security check point. Other than the huge time amount and long lines it was actually pleasant. People were nice to each other and for a few days, weeks, or months, the world was a better place in my not so humble opinion.
The second reason is that the Interwebs can easily become a repository of just negative things. I am guilty of it as well. Often people broadcast when bad things are happening and their dislike of a situation, person, or company. I am guilty of it with my rants about the NHL. However I tried to be polite about and nice to the person who was helping me, when I got help which was only once. See, I did it again. I try to be aware of it, it is part of the reason when I encounter problems I try to communicate directly with the parties involved. It is too easy for the dogpile effect to happen online, one person says something bad and then lots of other people chime in. It is nicer to allow the people a chance to fix the problem before broadcasting the issue. At times broadcasting the issue is a tool to try to get the issue fixed, but one should still be polite.
The third reason is that with how much I travel I see people behaving badly quite often. As an example I will use my most recent case of delayed baggage. When I arrived at my home airport, my luggage did not. This situation also happened to other people. What was interesting was watching a passenger yell at the gate agent about their luggage being delayed. The gate agent had nothing to do with the luggage being delayed. The luggage was delayed at O’Hare Airport in Chicago. The passenger was berating the person who could help them. Not the wisest thing ever. I got my bag a few hours later, I wonder if the “gentlemen” ever did…
Being nice to each other is just a way to make the world a better place for everyone.
So I was chatting with Kyle (Dr. Nick) & Kim over some fine adult beverage and talking about one of Kyle’s blog posts. So I shared with him my three rules for life; and he said I had to write about them, so that is this entry. Some people have heard these rules before, but that points to the importance and applicability of the rules for many many years now. So here are the three rules:
- I am not prejudiced, I hate everyone equally.
- If you are not sleeping with me, I don’t care who you are sleeping with.
- Don’t see anyone you work with, without their pants on
So at times it seems like these don’t really make sense until you start thinking about them as they actually apply in daily life. Let’s take a look at each rule.
I am not prejudiced, I hate everyone equally.
This one is fairly self explanatory; it is my sarcastic/sardonic take on “treat everyone equally”. It seems simple, but you would be amazed at how often people forget that everyone is a person to some degree. My recent trips have reinforced that opinion. I was on a plane full of people flying to LA and there were many children on the plane, all of them – no matter the race, ethnicity, nationality …etc – had trouble using their inside voices and respecting others. So I disliked them all on the plane, as all that I wanted to do was work and then sleep since I couldn’t work. It did not matter their background, they all annoyed me. So it kind of shows how one has to look past the outer skin and see the person for their behaviors and actions; that is what one should be judged on.
If you are not sleeping with me, I don’t care who you are sleeping with.
Everyone kind of goes, “huh?” to this one. However I have found that many people talk about others romantic life and activities. This can be such phrases as “I can’t believe that she is going out with him…” “That person is gay” “I can’t believe that they are getting married” etc. My answer is that I just don’t care, I have other things to worry about. Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston getting married, then getting divorced, then Angelina… etc. well how does that impact me? Why should I worry about it. That is one level. The other one is the amount of time people spend gossiping about others personal life. An example being the amount of conversations that was garnered when my wife went out with a male coworker when she worked at the same company. Let’s see I trust my wife, I know the person she went to lunch with, I know he is in a relationship… etc. so why should I care – let alone anyone else I work with. This plays into the other item, he happens to be gay, but since he isn’t sleeping with me and isn’t sleeping with my wife – why should I care who he is sleeping with. But this causeed a huge stir of gossip at my office. Now to follow this completely, since I sleep with my wife I would care if she was sleeping with someone else.
Don’t see anyone you work with, without their pants on
This one applies in two ways, one obvious and one not so obvious. Now before I go into this, in the previous paragraph the astute reader will notice that my wife was working at the same place as I am. However she got the job as a temp after we moved up because of me – so it doesn’t really apply. Also she was in a different part of the building and I would only see here once a day – heck we didn’t even carpool due to the different work schedules. The rest of it still applies, don’t mess around at work. I do not know of many that it has ended well for. That does not mean that people can not meet at work, develop a relationship and then one of them leaves the job – I know many that it has worked for. And there also the case like I had where there is no interaction during the work day, they founded the company together… etc. The other one is that at the end of the day, especially when traveling for work, one wants to be able to get away from work. So when traveling having to share a hotel room with someone is something I won’t do anymore. It also reinforces not to bring work discussion “home” if you are involved with a coworker. I need some time off.
Now that you have seen the rules, I am not going to say that they apply for everyone, each person has to find their own code and rules to live by. These are the ones that work for me. Obviously I can continue to explain how these rules may or may not apply – but they are my rules. Just like an opinion, they can’t be wrong; they can be malformed, objectionable to others, based on incorrect assumptions/ascertions/beliefts …etc. but they can not be wrong.
I have a fourth rule that is currently under review, has been for a couple of years which I am still testing the application… so who knows there might be an addition.