In the past few months, niceness seems to have surrounded my family and I. Not just the every day, that was nice sort of thing, like someone holding a door. A student picking up a dropped pencil. No, instead intentional acts of niceness where people doing it had to actually go out of their way to be nice. And you know what? I have noticed. And I am inspired.
I try to be a nice person to everyone I meet. (There are some people who I will never be nice to if I meet them again but that list is thankfully short and probably boring.) I teach my kids their manners in both Danish and English. I teach them to ask if they can help, hold doors, pick up dropped items, ask interested questions when in conversations and so forth – yes the three young ones think I am just blabbering when I teach, but still… But I don’t think I go out of my way to be nice. I don’t think I plan nice things to do for others. Not like what has happened to me lately. Take my new teammate Kelly (and in fact all of my new teammates), she has gone out of her way to make me feel welcome, included, and safe. She has answered all of my stupid questions with grace. She even took the time to set up an entire scheduled day for me to shadow the team. She didn’t have to do that, but the fact that she did and still continues to go out of her way, means more than she will ever know. Or Erin, a friend who I seem to grow closer to every day, who took the time to mail me a surprise gift just because. It floored me. When was the last time I mailed someone something? Or our neighbor who dropped off a homemade cake the other day, just because she felt like it. Who does that anymore?
So my pledge is to plan intentional acts of niceness. To go out of my way to do nice things for others. Not because I need some sort of karmic reward, but because of the profound effect it has had on me. I have felt thought of by others, what a powerful feeling that is.
So join me. Plan something. Take a step out of your normal routine that will make someone else happy. Spend some of your time creating happiness. Teach others to do the same. Think of what we can start? I know I start tonight, will you join me?
I am a passionate teacher in Wisconsin, USA, who has taught 4, 5th, and 7th grade. Proud techy geek, and mass consumer of incredible books. Creator of the Global Read Aloud Project, Co-founder of EdCamp MadWI, and believer in all children. I have no awards or accolades except for the lightbulbs that go off in my students’ heads every day. First book “Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classrooms Back to Our Students” can be purchased now from Powerful Learning Press. Second book“Empowered Schools, Empowered Students – Creating Connected and Invested Learners” can be pre-ordered from Corwin Press now. Follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.