Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday's Motivational Makeover featuring Tess

My friend has this saying…..’Just be nice’……

He says that we all have our good days and our bad days.

No matter what is going on he maintains that we can all……’Just be nice’…..

Everyone has problems, aches and pains, joy and upset, concerns and fear. Some things can be helped and some things can’t, but the one thing within our control is our reaction to circumstances. We are civilized creatures after all.

Upon reviewing the topography of my week I was reassured that the ‘just be nice’ creed was supported overwhelmingly by clear evidence. Specific measurable results if you will.

My first unofficial lab results came when I was asked to buffer a negotiation between a condo owner and a tenant. They were at the end of their tolerance units with one another and hesitantly asked me if I would have any interest in stepping in to find a solution to the impasse that had resulted. I wasn’t certain that I wanted a challenge of this nature so I met each of them separately and assessed the individual perspectives.

They both were mature, humane, professional people that had felt disrespected along the way and had come out with defenses raised. Since they could no longer work together, I asked them if they would be willing to ‘just be nice’ and work with me. Since I mentioned to both that I have taken enough of what I call kicks to the head in my life and that I am selective about clients with whom I choose to work, I requested that we all recalibrate and find a way. If they didn’t want to ‘just be nice’ I said I didn’t care, but I wouldn’t interject myself into the experiment. Some people want to fight. They have a struggle within themselves and they are looking for a fight. I needed to make sure that they were not in this category. They both agreed and we proceeded. It has been a successful week of kindness, tolerance and civility. Much progress has been made.

Secondly, gentleman friend and I went to Houston where he was performing with his band on Saturday night. Instead of waiting for the band to leave after 1 or 2 a.m. before we got to take residence in the room that is reserved for them during performance nights, we decided to just get a room where we could relax after dinner and keep our things and then retire after the show. We walked up to the manager and Frank asked in the most thoughtful and kind way if we could possibly get a special rate since he was with the band performing in his restaurant. The way Frank approached him was so soft and diplomatic that the manager just turned to his front desk attendant and said to comp the room. ‘Just be nice’ saved us $200.00 on a room.

Grama Millie used to say, “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”….but then she also used to say, “Tesser, if you don’t get in this house right now and take a bath, I’m gonna get a switch and beat you black and blue with it”…………she used a good deal of profanity also. But Millie was one of the nicest people I will ever know. She knew the secret of ‘just be nice’. It was a small town and a slower time then.

I’ve noticed what happens when I take the time to look into another person’s eyes and acknowledge them and greet their humanity before rushing back into the hurried pace that is my daily movie.

There is a calm pride I feel when I can turn a misunderstanding around or tell on myself when I’m out of line. The human condition wants so much to look good and be right that at times there doesn’t seem to be room for ‘just be nice’ especially if our foolish pride is as stake or embarrassment is lurking around the corner. But, the rewards are undeniable if I take the time to ‘just be nice’.

What’s in your life is what you choose, choose consciously and powerfully!

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