I am not the only person feeling this lately. We used to be nice to each other.

Sure we all have busy lives now with so much stuff hitting us each day such as emails, voicemail, texts, tweets, Snapchats, Instagram, Facebook and others. We are so absorbed by our smartphones that we forgot about the people around us.

I really miss the old vacation days where we would pass by someone and smile and say hello. In fact, some of that is still alive in the Deep South and those darn Southerner’s still take time to notice each other and strike up a conversation.

So here are a few thoughts:

Put down the phone

Notice things around you, especially people, and when we can take our masks off due to this pandemic, throw out a smile. How difficult is it to acknowledge someone when you walk past them and flash those pearly whites as an expression of friendliness or just plain being nice? The funny part about this is, you could do it anywhere and it takes no training or skill level. Even a person with bad teeth or none at all can do this.


It is so nice when someone takes, oh I don’t know, maybe two seconds out of their day for a quick wave of the hand. This could be as simple as acknowledging someone while driving down your street to your home, or even pushing a shopping cart in a grocery store. The worst that can happen is that you make someone’s day a little better. Hey, even if you do not know them, so they think you’re nuts, who cares, at least you are friendly.

Just say hi

Remember Nancy Reagan’s campaign in the 1980s of “Just say no?” This is so much easier, and it has immediate results. Saying hello is something we used to do, and it has amazing results that makes you feel good. It’s simple, harmless and only takes one word to blurt out. I will go down fighting just trying to be nice and say hi, since I like the results.

Say nice things to people

One of the greatest lessons I received was from a simple little book by Ken Blanchard called, “The One Minute Manager.” He talks about looking for things that are right. We tend to look at the negatives rather than the positives. For instance, it was easier for me to notice that my daughter did not make her bed that day, rather than finding out that she aced an “A” on her test in school.

Don’t Comment on Social media if you are negative

I am amazed at how many people take the time to fight on social media. Whether it’s political on who their favorite candidate is or their opinion on a specific issue or agenda item. Sure, its easier to hide behind your computer screen and be nasty or unkind, but what does it really do to you and the other person having this online conversation? I always remember what our mother’s told us decades ago. “If you do not have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Let us try to look for the positives in people and let them know that we notice it, rather than complaining about something that we have heard or observed. People just like to hear compliments especially if they are sincere.

Hal Becker is a nationally known speaker on sales and customer service. He is the author of numerous business books including two national best sellers “Can I Have 5 Minutes Of Your Time?” and “Lip Service.” Hal’s newest book on sales is titled “Ultimate Sales Book.” He can be reached at Halbecker.com.


Letters, commentaries and opinions appearing in the Cleveland Jewish News do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Cleveland Jewish Publication Company, its board, officers or staff.

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