14 January 2011

91: Lesson #4: Have a Nice Day

Do you know that feeling you get when someone else does something great and you are simultaneously happy that person exists and a little bit down that you aren't as nice (generous/gregarious/helpful/friendly/wonderful/giving/sympathetic/caring/hopeful/optimistic/fantastic) as that person...?

You know those people who make you question whether you're really doing all you can do with your life?

Well, maybe the cold has been messing with my mind. Maybe my helmet is on too tight.

But I had a bus driver one of these past few days who was unnecessarily nice. And he wasn't extravagantly nice. Just simply nice...and genuinely nice. (I think the genuine part is the most important.)

Anyway, at every stop, he would implore the person exiting the bus to "Have a Nice Day". His cadence was robotic and his delivery was all wrong (I kid, I kid), but he told every single person to have a nice day. And I must have watched 30 or 40 people exit the bus. A solid 80% had at least a mildly pleased reaction to his friendliness. The guy who smelled like weed and the girl whose earphones were audible 6 rows away didn't seem to react much, but they have valid excuses.

Eighty percent of people's days were changed, however slightly, by his doggedness to genuine kindness above and beyond his job description.

I can learn a lot from him. How can you help someone "have a nice day"?

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