Be Nice, You're On Earth

Be Nice, You're On Earth

Can you imagine a world where people were more concerned for others than themselves?
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As soon as I began my freshman year at Corban I had heard the phrase, “Be nice, you’re in Oregon.” This phrase was not only said by locals, but also plastered on coffee shop tip jars and car bumpers. I came from the land of aggressive drivers and people who, for the most part, minded their own business (aka California). Unsolicited kindness from others was a somewhat foreign concept to me.

For instance - On the freeway, California has two speeds “fast” and “very fast” and if you are not in one of those categories, you will undoubtedly be honked at. In Oregon, the two speeds are “under the speed limit” and “right at the speed limit” and drivers will graciously change lanes if they feel you are being slowed down.

I was driving in Salem, trying to go somewhere I had never been. Blindly following my GPS worked pretty well, until I ended up in a left turn only lane for a road that was closed. I had come to terms with the fact that I would be waiting for a while to squeeze into the lane on my right, but then the driver in the truck next to me motioned for me to come into the lane. I was dumbfounded but gladly took his offer up.

In the parking lot of the grocery store, I was hustling to get in and out because my schedule that day was jam-packed. As I was walking in, a woman offered me her cart. Shockingly, this was not because I was closer to her than a cart return, just because she thought of someone else.

Another day, I was in the kitchen with my roommates. One of them told me how our neighbors had a garden they would love to share with us. So later that day we stopped by, they showed us where each type of plant was and gave us an open invitation to pick whatever fruit/veggies we would like. We came back home with tomatoes, jalapenos, and bell peppers.

The other day I wrecked my car. Three kind citizens checked to make sure I was okay (only one of which had to stop because I was blocking her lane). One man called 911, another who was a nurse asked me a few questions to make sure I was all right, and the woman searched the car for my phone. I felt, in a way, like I was living a modern-day reenactment of “The Good Samaritan” from Luke 10; except instead of being left on the side of the road, all three of the people who saw tried to help.

There is no doubt in my mind that people here are nice, but my question is - why isn’t it like this everywhere? Can you imagine a world where people were more concerned for others than themselves? A place where everyone was courteous and even went out of their way to help others out? Maybe instead of saying “Be nice, you’re in Oregon.” we should say “Be nice, you’re on Earth.” Everyone wants to be thought of, cared for, and loved. Everyone wants to be treated with respect and dignity. So - be nice, you’re on Earth!

Like this article? Check out my previous one on student ID photos!

Cover Image Credit: MJ Tangonan

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs. In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm..

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Part 1: Necessary Changes

One of my favorite movies is "Fried Green Tomatoes" with Kathy Bates. In the movie Bates' character Evelyn Couch says, "Someone helped put a mirror up in front of my face, and I didn't like what I saw one bit. And you know what I did? I changed." I know the feeling.

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I looked in the mirror over the weekend and didn't like what I saw.

The person I saw looking back at me is petty, selfish, manipulative, and unattractive. It wasn't that I hated what I saw, but I definitely didn't like what I saw either. It's a surreal feeling, looking at yourself through a critical lens, and it doesn't make you feel good in any way shape or form.

The image that I see of myself is not how I want others to perceive me. I want to be someone that people look at and see kindness, compassion, strength, and confidence.

I have enough general life experience to know that these types of changes aren't going to happen overnight, and not all of them will be physical; most of these will have to happen from the inside, from within myself.

When you find out you are all broken and damaged, it's hard to know where to start putting the pieces back together. I figured the best place to start would be the most literal: my actual insides; so, I decided to embark on a deep-cleansing journey to get all of the toxins out of my body, from the inside out.

I found this book on 10-day green smoothie detox stashed away in the dark corner of my bookshelf. The science behind it seems accurate and legitimate. By eliminating certain foods, your body is able to detox itself off of chemicals and foods that are slowing down your metabolism; the smoothies are specifically designed with combinations of foods that help restart your metabolism. Part of the detox process is getting rid of all dependencies on caffeine, alcohol, and sugar.

Every day you are given the recipe for a specific smoothie; you make the smoothie (about 40 ounces) and sip on it throughout the day whenever you get hungry. Every smoothie is a combination of leafy greens, water, fruit, and flax seeds. If you do happen to get hungry throughout the day, you are encouraged to eat raw nuts, hard boiled eggs, and a wide variety of crunchy green vegetables. There is also a detox tea that you have first thing in the morning, but other than that no other beverages are allowed except water.

I know that this is only the beginning of a very long, emotional, and draining journey. But I think I'm at the point in my life where I have to make these changes. I have to put my pieces together, I have to become a normal functioning adult, I have to find out who I am. I think that this is the perfect way to start.

For the next 10 days I am going to be documenting my experiences, how I'm feeling, what my emotions are doing, and any results that I see.

Stay tuned!

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