The following is a guest post by Melissa Viera. Viera is a dog trainer/groomer, writer, and business owner in Massachusetts. When she is not busy running her business she can usually be found playing with her dogs, writing, or going on adventures.
If you open your ears to the conversations in any public place you will hear people talking about “the world we live in today." The devastation and tragedies in recent years have been leaving marks on all of us. People are angry and scared, and these feelings don’t disappear on their own. Yet when you listen even closer you begin to hear conversations not about distress or sadness but about all of the good that is around us. There are so many people talking about the beautiful things, too.
We are living in such an incredible time. Holding the future at our fingertips, we are able to become leaders of our own lives like never before. Movements are being started, and the most unlikely people are stepping up to accomplish more than they ever thought possible. We live in a time where excuses don’t exist. Dreamers are no longer dreaming because they are busy living their dreams every day. We are a resilient and resourceful society.
There are good people everywhere who choose to live life proudly and to give love and kindness to the world around them. They are making the choice to spread positivity into the world. Choosing to spread kindness, like most choices, requires effort. When making a choice that requires action you are changing old patterns and opening new doors. You must constantly be your own coach, but eventually new habits are created and the mental upkeep is no longer required.
It reminds me of an essay I wrote in what must have been 7th or 8th grade. I don’t know where the idea for the essay came from, but it was about contagious smiling. All of these years later, I still value the message of that essay. I still smile at strangers, not all of the time but often. Usually they smile back, rarely they give a strange look, but either way, I don’t think much about it because smiling is simply a habit.
The message “Choose To Be Nice” holds so much power because it is a reminder that being kind is indeed a choice. Only you can make the choice to be kind to yourself, others, and the world around you. When you make the decision to be nice by your own definition, you say to the world that you are going to try your best even if you slip up every now-and-then. The decision to make this choice creates positive changes.
No matter how long it takes to create new habits for yourself, the important thing is that you have made the choice. Being nice might mean refusing to engage in gossip about others, spending more time helping others, or trying your best to see the world through a new set of eyes that see the good in people before seeing anything else. Choosing to be nice will soon become a part of how you live.
Everyone is on their own journey and writing their own stories. Even in such a fast-paced world, I can’t help but notice how many people do stop and take the time to simply be kind. And for those who do, they are the ones who can see the world in the most beautiful way. The world is a mirror of the faces that we choose to show, and kindness looks lovely on everyone.