Day 13: On trying to be nice
There are endless verses in the Quran about enjoining good, and about the reward for goodness being nothing but goodness itself.
Unfortunately it’s become super easy to forget that. We have become so preoccupied with the inconsequential admin of being that we’re too stingy to even share a smile sometimes.
And OF COURSE I am generalising – before people start getting touched – but I think it’s something we definitely need to reflect on.
“Be a nice person” is one of the first life lessons we try teaching children as soon as they are able to understand us. But along the way, as we grow older, life deals with us and we realise that the world is a rude place sometimes. And people are really – to be euphemistic – unnecessary sometimes. It’s HARD to be nice when it’s just like “bloody hell, when’s someone gonna be nice to ME?”
At the risk of sounding annoying and preachy, we’ve got to look at the bigger picture and just think about the way that being nice to people is sometimes kind of a jihad. Jihad – again – is not ISIS btw; it’s the internal conflicts in yourself that you deal with every day. And it’s a jihad because some people make it so damn difficult to be nice to them.
But besides those people, there are plenty others who could unknowingly do with a dose of your niceness. A smile at a stranger walking past you, a greeting to a cleaner that you encounter, sharing a joke with someone serving you or watching your car while you pop into a shop for groceries. There are so many people who have it worse off than you do – do what you can to share a bit of your humanity with them. Again, always a reminder to myself first: giving someone your attention and time is worth so much more than you (and sometimes they) even realise.
“Try to be nicer” is seriously something that has me going back to the very basics. So this Ramadan I’m trying to be more mindful of how I speak to people, how I interact generally, and reflect on how I can remain cognisant of this stuff to take it forward as a good habit after this month. I’m trying my best to always stay mindful of the saying: “a person who is nice to you, but not nice to a waiter, is not a nice person.”