11 July 2008

Learning to be Nice

Real Simple (via HuffPo) has a whole "Happiness" section, and part of how to be happy is to be nice... So, RS has a list of 48 ways to be nice:
Subtly alert people when they have food in their teeth, an undone zipper, or toilet paper stuck to a shoe. They’ll be far less mortified than if they find out two hours later.
When I was getting off the Amtrak train on Tuesday my dress was caught up in the back. I don't think it was exposing anything (I had shorts on under the dress) - but this southern gentleman sidled up to me and said "Ma'am, your dress is caught up in your underwear." I said thank you, pulled the dress down (again feeling that it wasn't entirely up) and just wanted to crumble. Because the train was late and I had an appointment I had to soldier on, but I really did feel like crying. SO DUMB.
When someone looks lost, stop and ask him if he needs directions. “I’ll never forget the people who have helped me when I was traveling,” says Real Simple staffer Melinda Page. “One man in Italy saw me looking at a map in confusion, asked if he could help, then walked five minutes out of his way to show me the place I was looking for, because it was hard to explain.”
So I get to Dupont Circle - a place I should be familiar with. I worked there for an entire summer - but for some reason (mostly the heat and my general sense of being) I was confused and turned around. I had my iPod touch with me, but no access to internet (plus the stupid screen is invisible in noon-time sun). A very nice lady helped me - she had a map, and we had both been on the train together and then ridden on the subway (without speaking to each other). She was Scottish I think, from the accent. We both were dragging rolly suitcases - and she saved my life and got me to the right place on time. In hindsight I should have taxi'ed it to the meeting, but then I wouldn't have had the pleasure of her help.

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