What does it cost to be nice?

I get out of the metro, no space to go, people everywhere. “Does nobody think about letting people exit trains before entering?”. I believe I’ve tried it all: telling people, spreading mad looks, or even bumping into them; still I am walking into a crowd, struggling to find an exit. I come to the wrong conclusion my power to change is against 0.

I step into the next train, first thing I see, three empty beer bottles. I pick them up, throw them in the trash and find my seat. The woman next to me, munching on her greasy fries, while two rows in front a man decided he needs a cologne refresh. I start to ask myself: Why do I care, and they obviously don’t? Why aren’t we watching out for one another and respect each other’s feelings, or at least consider them in our decisions?

I realize my personal mood stands in correlation to how society is treating me. After a day of rudeness and frustration it is much harder for me to find back into my mental happy zone. But how can I motivate people to be respectful and thoughtful of one another?

I can understand, a couple of years ago I was the person blocking the exit. But I have changed. I have realized being nice to each another is one of the first steps to become happier.

Why? Because of one important element: appreciation. We humans are all looking for it, whether it is in your job, sports, or being a mom: everyone is striving for recognition and appreciation, because it fulfills us. It makes us happy because we see a sense in our existence and make an impact.

Now, when I help a mom lifting a stroller, give my seat up to an old lady, or hold the door for someone, in most cases (trust me, not all) they are very thankful and appreciate this extremely small gesture. It doesn’t cost me anything, not even much effort, but it makes me smile and, in the end, happier.



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