Where has the niceness gone?


I came to a stark and depressing realization today. The word “nice” no longer exists in our dictionaries. Well, literally it’s still there under N in the dictionary. But nice has seized to exist in this day and age. You don’t believe me? That’s fine, but first tell me, when was the last time a complete stranger complimented you? 

Whatever happened to giving high-fives to random people on the street, or smiling at the people walking by? What happened to tossing out compliments to the person sitting next to you, telling them how great their hair looks, how you love their shoes, or how beautifully their eyes shine?

What happened to being nice?  

While I was in this depressed state, wondering what had happened to the world’s supply of kindness, I stumbled upon a video on YouTube that has become my number one favourite: “Validation” by Kurt Kuenne. The short film’s main focus is that the smallest compliment can change a frown upside-down. So, I’ve decided to give it a try.

You. Yes, you that’s reading this right now. You are amazing. You are so amazing, in fact, that you can do anything. You are successful, and happy, and brilliant. Why are you looking around? Don’t look around; don’t doubt yourself. I am talking to you!

What’s that I hear? You don't believe what I am saying? You doubt that you are that amazing? You aren’t successful or happy? No, no, no. Now you are just trying to be modest, aren’t you? But, believe me, what I say, and what I am about to say, is true. Period.

You are great. Look at how much you’ve accomplished already. Every day, you tackle the challenges of life, and every day, you battle with any obstacles that come in your way. Every day, you are successful in doing both. Life is not easy, it’s a battlefield, and you are the solider, fighting off all the enemies. How can you not think you are great?

You go to school, and you have to endure countless hours of education pouring into your brain. You have to tackle algebra, old English, and learn the history of the planet. Then, you have exams and tests and assignments to write and hand in. There are projects, and presentations, and readings. It’s a whole load of work. But you do it every day, and you do it brilliantly.

And yes, no matter what everyone else says, I am telling you right now: you look great. Actually, you look better than great. And that smile – is it ever amazing. You really should show it much more often. You really must share it with everyone else.

The world is at your fingertips, and don’t you ever let anyone else tell you otherwise.

Let’s continue to pass on compliments – send them to the people you know, to the people you love, and to random people you’ve never met before. Go and watch “Validation”, and as the screen darkens at the end of the clip, look at your face in the computer screen. Are you smiling?

Let’s try to make a more positive environment – your compliment may be the thing that a stranger needs in their day. And one day, when you are feeling hopeless and depressed, maybe a compliment will come flying your way and make you smile.

Taouba Khelifa

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