A combination of national economic woes and a string of historically violent crimes has cast a particularly dark cloud over 2012.
After watching several 2012 In Memorandum vignettes, it became particularly clear that the world has lost a lot of nice this year.
Nice in the form of song writer Hal David, What The World Needs Now Is Love; actor Andy Griffith, star of The Andy Griffith Show; heartthrob Andy Williams; singer Etta James, At Last; First man on the Moon, Neil Armstrong; housewife turned legendary comedian, Phyllis Diller and America’s oldest teenager, Dick Clark – just to name a few.
I tried to get in a healthy dose of nice by watching some of my favorite classic television shows while recovering from a raging sinus-infection. I was forced to change the channel during a Partridge Family marathon because I was barraged with commercials for The Hoveround, depilatories and lawsuit settlement investment firms. Apparently even advertisers think nice people are just hairy deadbeats.
Nice also seems to be an adjective that has literally lost its true meaning throughout the years.
The written definition of the word “nice” from the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary includes polite or kind as the seventh meaning on the list – which is the bottom, the cellar.
So this year, I am taking on a resolution that is much harder and holds more value than dieting or exercising.
I am resolving to be nice.
I know my mother just rolled her eyes and my better-half just laughed and screamed, “Right…!”
Even today while trying to practice my new nice persona, I let out an involuntary Tourettes-like string of profanities while seeming to forget that my heart was supposed to grow three-sizes as I shed my Grinch-like attitude.
It’s hard. I challenge you to try it.
If you are like me, maybe you need to wean your way to nice. A smile and a simple, “hello” may take several months – and that’s just to friends.
My goal is to willingly cook meals for family and friends in need and write thank-you notes.
It sounds very simplistic yet we’ve lost a lot of softness in our increasingly narcissistic, hide behind the first-amendment-where’s-the-filter society.
I’m not talking Care Bears and Air Supply.
How about we start with please, thank you and how are you today?
And, if you ask my mother, a Doris Day movie marathon is all it will take to get you in a nice mood.
To quote Phyllis Diller, “A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.”
Most importantly she also said, “Always be nice to your children because they are the ones who will choose your rest home.”
Here’s a toast to 2013 and getting our nice on!