‘National Say Something Nice Day’ – Why We Need it
Today, June 1st, is National Say Something Nice Day. I know, there's a day for everything and this one sounds silly at first, but hang with me for a minute.
In our always connected social media driven world it's so incredibly easy to slip into tacky comments with little to no pushback. To their credit most of my social media contacts very seldom fall into this trap, but some of the comments I read on pages that I follow are absolutely unnecessary. What ever happened to the idea of, 'If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all'?
With social media it's far too easy to take a cheap shot at something or someone. Why? Nobody benefits. Sure, you may feel a little bit superior for pointing out someone's accidental misspelling or whatever, but that only makes you look like a jerk.
Back in 2019 - back in the pre-pandemic days - there were a bunch of internet challenges involving Tide Pods and slamming straws into your drink cup while blindfolded. One of those was just messy, the other could be dangerous. Then Pink got called out for posting a picture at the beach where one of her small children had lost part of their swimwear. She was immediately and brutally attacked on social media for something she hadn't noticed and that has probably happened to countless parents with small children at the beach. She started a challenge of going one day without criticizing someone online. I tried going one day without throwing shade at anyone online or in personal conversations and caught myself a few times. And I thought of myself as a nice guy.
It' great to see the support that Naomi Osaka is getting from a lot of people and organizations after her withdrawal from the French Open, so some people get it. There's power in saying kind words and lifting people up when they fall. Don't deny that they fell, just help them get up and move forward from where they are. If there's one thing that I've learned over the years it's that I never, and I mean NEVER, know the whole story of what happened let alone why.
National Say Something Nice Day was first proclaimed by the mayor of North Charleston, South Carolina, back in 2006 in recognition of the work of Dr. Mitch Carnell, author of Say Something Nice: Be A Lifter At Work.
The positive impact that a kind word or gesture can make is immeasurable, especially when directed at someone who's having a bad day or struggling emotionally. I've witnessed the benefits of being kind to people, and I've seen the results of someone who's been constantly criticized.
So, today, June 1st, make it a point to say something nice to someone. Make it real, don't be phony about it, don't ask for anything in return. Just notice something that someone does well and comment on it. It's as simple as that.