Be Nice

Real Simple is one of my favorite “mom magazines.” In their e-newsletter this week, a list of “48 practically effortless ways to be nice” was included. I’m going to put some of them to work. Here are a few of my favorites:

+ If you travel a lot on business, record yourself reading your children’s favorite bedtime stories; they can listen to your voice as they flip through the book. Finish each night’s reading with a countdown of the days until you’re back home with them.

+ Every day for a year, jot down one thing you love about your child/husband/friend (he has a crooked smile; she snorts when she laughs). At the end of the year, give the person your one-of-a-kind, 365-item list.

+ Donate two tickets to a major sporting or theatrical event to an organization like Big Brothers Big Sisters. That way, a Big Sis can take her Little Sis to something out of the ordinary that she otherwise might not be able to afford.

+ When you develop photos from a vacation or a major life event that an elderly relative missed, get an extra set of prints and send them to her.

+ When someone leaves a pie plate or a casserole dish at your house, return it with something tasty inside.

+ Send a note to a former teacher, telling her how much she inspired you. (If she’s no longer at the same school, the office may be able to tell you where she is now.) (I was required to do this my senior year of high school. My fourth grade teacher was overjoyed to hear from me and we’ve kept in touch since.)

+ Overtip your breakfast waiter. He probably put forth just as much effort as someone on the evening shift would, but his take-home pay is probably lower.

+ Pay for the drive-through order of the car behind you.

+ Instead of tossing magazines and old books into the recycling bin, drop a stack off at a local women’s shelter or your gym.

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