A simple question resonates

Published 7:45 am Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Editorial by Chris Kovatch

As I have grown older the news seems to have changed. Obviously technology plays a part in the delivery method, but I am speaking more towards content. Perhaps it is my attention has focused as I have or perhaps we have changed as a society. Rarely do you see positive stories on the major news outlets. A quick scan of major stories online yields all the gloom and doom one needs for a lifetime.

Many become quickly acclimated to this attitude and it permeates every facet of their lives. I sit back and watch how quickly issues escalate; how we seem to speed past niceties and just start out in a defensive mode. This evolution causes me great concern. A simple question keeps repeating in my mind. How hard is it to be nice?

Politics seem to be front and center in our every day lives. Suddenly people who were once friends now stand on opposite sides of a line prepared for verbal battles. Opinions on both ends of the spectrum and everywhere in between seem to be constantly attacked for standing firm in their beliefs. Believe me, I know there are beliefs that are inherently wrong. But there are also beliefs that are held that aren’t wrong and a merely a difference of philosophy or ones value system. Just because someone believes something different than we do doesn’t make him or her a bad person. Many times an educated discussion will allow the two parties to see where the other is coming from. In the end, how hard is it to be nice?

Customer service is something near and dear to me. Part of my professional position is to ensure my customers are happy. At our dance studio, our team strives to provide a welcoming atmosphere and instill a sense of pride and poise in our dancers in addition to teaching them the art of dance. Are we human? Yes. Do we mistakes? Most definitely. It’s how we respond to those issues that make the difference. We stress approachability and have an open door policy. We welcome feedback, because in the end, that’s how we grow. We do our very best to treat clients with respect. However I see that focus going by the wayside in general in our society on both sides of the fences. Customers are quick to jump to anger and businesses are quick to go on the defensive. But what if we approached the situation differently? What if level heads and cool tempers prevailed? In the end, how hard is it to be nice?

By no means are my assessments indicative of all people or businesses. Kindness and compassion still thrive in our society. The issue is that we do not hear about it enough. We must make the effort to approach every interaction with others and look for a way to part ways and have made their day little better. The ‘Pay It Forward’ concept is not new, but its message is a vital one. Taking a little extra time or having a little more patience isn’t difficult, but it does take practice. I urge you to go out of your way at least once a day to make someone else’s better. You never know the impact it will have, and trust me you will walk away feeling better too. In the end, how hard is it to be nice?