But life is more than a rat race, we have to remember.
We all know a “nice guy” or gal who’s nice to anyone and everyone—and who, in return, is well-loved, popular, walks through life and business and love with ease. So why don’t more of us go out of our way to make everyone else’s day better besides our own?
Changing the outcome of someone’s day doesn’t take any huge feat, as we know: it takes a simple, unrehearsed gesture. And it doesn’t work to try to be nice for karmic or spiritual reasons, or because we believe that we’ll benefit from it. The trick is simple: we have to mean it.
So what do I mean by “finishing first”? Sure: being nice, connecting people, working in a non-profit…is a great way to make no money. To lose the race that is life.
But life is more than a rat race, we have to remember. Win the race, and you may find that you’ve won very little. It’s a cliché because it’s true: how many wealthy, successful…and unhappy people do we know?
Happiness is what it’s about. And there’s only one way to get it.
To give it.
It feels good to be nice, to be kind, to be generous. Love is, perhaps, the greatest happiness (while it lasts). And when we’re in love, as we know, we take this “nice” thing a step further. We think about the other person—before ourselves—what we can do for them, how they’re feeling.
None of this is theoretical. Nice people make a profound impact on us every day.
My special someone subconsciously gives everyone she passes, anywhere, the biggest, most loving smile. It makes my heart flutter like a butterfly’s wings…and the person receiving the smile will have a slightly better day because of it. You don’t need to be the Grinch to have your heart expand to three times its normal size! Give a smile. Be genuinely positive: people feel it and will respond in kind.
My grandfather is the most generous man I know: he goes out of his way to help people who are less fortunate and the people he loves most. He has money, but what matters is everyone else but himself. Every meal I eat with him at a restaurant ends with the server thanking him and a huge smile. He believes that everyone deserves to be loved and have the things he wasn’t fortunate to have when he was young.
Being nice is also about loving and understanding those who are different, less fortunate, than you. Loving all living things, the trees, the earth, animals (even the ugly ones!)—treating everything and everyone the way you would like to be treated.
It’s the Golden Rule,
“In everything do to others as you would have them do to you.”
When the word “others” is used, this just doesn’t just include other people, but all living things, even those living things that can’t speak or move.
Even if we’re trying to be nice, we can be unconscious and unaware of our impact on the environment. When we’re conscious, or awake, the good inside wants to do the right thing. So help do some dishes. Pick up that soda can. Don’t let the water run, or turn off electronics when not in use. Try to eat fewer animals and fish, and know where it comes from.
We are all connected. So find the love in your heart, and share it. You may not be treated with respect, or with love in return. But we need to swallow our pride…because a good heart and soul can change the world. It’s the good ol’domino effect. And the world is forever in gratitude to the little things that make a difference one person at a time.
Donny Rangel grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska and moved to Fort Collins, Colorado and is currently a Business Marketing student at Colorado State University with a minor in music performance. He is a trumpet player with a love for music and world travel. You may contact Donny via e-mail.