Be the nice guy.

Jon - 61073, Illinois
Entered on April 16, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe every one is a potential friend. I also believe it’s impossible to know when they’ll want to become your friend. The Solution? Be the nice guy, help out others when you can, strike up a conversation with someone who is bored. That’s where the answer resides.

During freshman year of high school (the same year I moved to the area) I met my first high school friend. How did we become friends? Nintendo. My friend Zack was standing alone when I struck up a conversation about his bright red Nintendo jacket he wore every day. One thing led to another and we were friends. Something as simple as, “I see you like Nintendo, the SNES was great.” can plant a seed of friendship.

One year later Zack moved away and I met my best friend the same way. One commonality, in this case a design on a backpack led to a question about my favorite show and we’d talk about the weekly show every day during gym for an entire year. We started to hang out and then we became friends. From my experience, you not only gain friends by being helpful and friendly, but also the friends of the person you know. I became a friend with a gamer and all of his gamer friends too. With our ritualistic trips to crazy penguins (gamer heaven) and constant game nights we formed a close group. I know what you’re thinking, “Hey you, Jon the fibber, its not that easy to make friends just by talking to them.” Well it may be unlikely or improbable but everybody has at least one thing in common to talk about. You can talk about anything (your school, your work, your music) that you may have in common and not even know.

Having friends to talk to when you’re down is great and being without friends flat out sucks. This seems like a small issue but its effect amplifies when you give everyone in the world an extra friend the world would be a better place. How many less sad people would there be? How many people would stop being angry at one another? How many countries could unite? That’s right this goes as high as the president making friends with other countries leaders and as low as kindergarteners making friends in the sandbox.

The concept is universal. The effects are phenomenal. And the message is one I truly believe in.