Let’s Just Be Nice to Each Other
Be nice to the wobbly Asian man at the corner store with gingivitis who silently judges you for purchasing ZzzQuil, a giant bottle of Stella, pop tarts and Jesus Christ, you’re projecting again.
Be nice to the weathered homeless lady sitting on your front steps struggling trying to tie her shoe amid the relentless, pelting San Francisco rain.
Be nice to the garbage man, you know – the one who smiles broadly as he empties the bins at 7am on Tuesdays. Or wait, is it Wednesdays?
Be nice to the black guy at work who asks you to complete his expense reports and doesn’t understand how you could possibly be so inexperienced with Excel but laughed at your joke about having attended Ole Miss for college, a place where fun was the main priority, not learning stuff.
Be nice to the white woman in your office who talks incessantly about the weather, her border collie and baking banana bread.
Be nice to the IT guy whose name is Kevin because are IT guys ever named anything other than Kevin? Be nice to him even when he exasperatedly tells you to “get up so I can have a look at the problem”.
Be nice to the Asian lady who hovers over you like a helicopter on crack, micromanages you and makes you stock the Ladies room with Super-plus tampons. She’s Type A. That’s who she is.
Be nice to the Middle Eastern doorman who gets more excited about Fridays than anyone in the history of mankind.
Be nice to the girl who’s dating the guy you always liked – you know, the one who didn’t like you back. She’s nice. It’s hard, but be nice back.
Be nice to the waitress, she seems stressed and it looks like patrons are being demanding, especially that lady who won’t stop snapping her fingers when she needs more wine.
Be nice to the bus driver. You know, the one with the high-pitched squeal who sometimes lets you on when you’re a quarter short.
Be nice to your gay friend who helped you move into your new apartment and is there for you whenever you need him for advice about anything from guys to work to… anything.
Be nice to your straight friend who took you to the Farmer’s Market because you told her you wanted to get dumplings from the dumpling stand.
Be nice to the ignorant fuck who makes fun of you for living in a predominantly gay city. He was raised that way, he doesn’t know any better nor does he care to. Still, be nice Alexandra, don’t call him a fuck. That’s who he is.
Be nice to your roommate, take out your headphones when you walk in the door and see her. Ask her about her day and listen to her lament about her parking tickets. Nod empathetically and offer her a gummi bear to brighten her day.
Be nice to anyone, to any creature, to any living thing: Black, White, Asian, Mexican, straight, gay, transgender, old, young, short, tall, a cat, a dog, a bird, an anteater…
We don’t choose to be born. We’re thrust into the world and we’re expected to deal. We’re dealt a hand of cards and we can play them however choose to. But there are a lot of things we don’t choose. Our sexual orientation is one of those things. It’s simply part of a series of characteristics that make us who we are.
Those whose hearts are consumed by hate for people who are living their lives as themselves confound me. Being nice is not a novel concept; it’s a wildly easy sentiment to grasp and adopt. Sometimes my head hurts from trying to understand these kinds of people who don’t get it, who aren’t nice. Then I realize they’re not worth understanding.
Not even a little bit.
Not even at all.
I’m writing this in honor of those who were killed in Orlando the other day.
I’m writing this in honor of anyone who has ever gotten the horrific impression that they’re wrong for being themselves.
For being exactly how they were made.
I’m writing this for myself, so I can use it as reference whenever I need a reminder to be nice even though I hope I never become a person who needs this kind of reminder.
I’m writing this for you — just as you are.
Imagine a world where everyone is nice.