Being nice isn’t so bad

Chandra - Wichita, Kansas
Entered on April 29, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50

By my own admission, I am cranky, sarcastic and hard to please.

My husband, not by his own admission, is patient, warm and nice.

I’ve always thought that we were just two different people that somehow worked wonderfully together, one not being any better than the other. But, now I see that his way may be better.

It was a Saturday afternoon and my husband, Kevin, and I had the day to ourselves. We didn’t have any grand plans, just a casual day of errands and goofing around. He is an avid disc golfer, and the weather was so nice we decided that we would go to the park so he could play.

We were still on the first hole when an awkward looking kid walked up and asked if he could play with us. Kevin said sure. Then the kid said “Well, I don’t have any discs, so do you think I could use some of yours?” My husband kind of chuckled and gave him a little bit of a hard time, but then he looked through his bag and found a disc that the kid could use.

I was bummed. This kid was kind of weird and it felt like he was spoiling our nice walk. I was thinking to myself that I probably would have completely avoided this situation and was a little put off that Kevin hadn’t. But instead, my husband kept talking to him about the subtleties of disc golf, how to throw farther, how to throw straighter, and the best discs to use.

Soon, we found out that this kid, Curtis, just moved here from Indianapolis. He had just gotten a job at Subway and was hoping to buy some discs when he got his first pay check.

A few holes later we found out that he moved to Wichita because this is where his aunt lives. In recent years his mother and grandfather had died. He didn’t have anyone else to live with in Indiana, so he had to move here. Kevin played nearly all 18 holes with him before deciding that we were done and ready to move on with our day. My husband shook Curtis’ hand and told him it was nice to meet him, and he told him to keep the disc.

Once we got back to the car, I told my husband how nice I thought he was for doing that. He told me that when the kid walked up he appeared rather sad, and it looked like he could really use someone being nice to him for awhile. I know it isn’t a huge gesture, but it really made me think about how far nice can take somebody who really needs it.

I believe in the simple and beautiful power of nice.