Sunday, December 16, 2012

Just Be Nice

We'd planned, yesterday, to leave for Kroger after Jim's return from work, but--given the events of the day--I didn't feel up to entering the cold, the dark, or the public with our three, younger children. I know you understand, that I'm not the only one who's just wanted to hole up at home.

Jim and I went out today, though, because we'd lined up a sitter and bought movie tickets weeks ago. Baby Chip slept through our entire cinematic experience, and I have to admit: I slept through part of it, myself.

Thankfully, I didn't sleep through Galadriel's and Gandalf the Grey's exchange because--of all the words people have had to say in the last couple of days--Gandalf's were the ones I wanted. He said:

I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay…small acts of kindness and love.

I'm with Gandalf; how about you?

Back in the day when I taught argument and rhetoric, my students and I shared ideas regarding what we could do about the prevalence of violence in our society. We talked about gun control, mental health, violence on tv and in the movies, violence in video games, prayer in schools, etc. Most of these ideas had some--if not a great deal--of merit. But my favorite idea was, and is, in line with Gandalf's thinking: just be nice.

If we went out of our way to be nice--especially to those who feel angry, hurt, and/or rejected--who can guess how profound the impact on our society?

Let's be really nice, right now. Let's think carefully about what's coming out of our mouths and fingertips. Let's not--in our efforts to understand, prevent further tragedy, and even provide comfort!--be insensitive. There's a time to speak, scripture says, and a time to keep silence (Ecclesiastes 3:7); let's err on the side of keeping silence...or say safe things like: I love you. I'm here for you.


  1. I agree. So many people have said so much when I justr wan to say...stop talking. My facebook feed has been ridiculous at times. I just shake my head at some of the people's thoughts and think why am I reading their ignorance. Love and loving. It truly is what we should be doing.

  2. I love the way you have shown something we can all do now to make things better. Being nicer is something we're working on in our house at the moment and yes, I really need the wisdom to know when to be silent. Thank you for your words.

  3. Not only do I admire your ability to nap in the movie theater, I admire your ability to wake up at the right moment. Small acts of kindness and love, done daily, will keep the darkness away. I love this and I'm glad you wrote it. :)

  4. Love the truth that rings in these simple words about everyday acts of kindness...thanks Brandee.

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  6. (Sorry about the double post. Had a typo and couldn't edit it.)

    Well said. I've had to stay off Facebook, because I have found myself biting my tongue so much since Friday's events. As a society, we have to take care of each other. We must stop ridiculing and shaming, and instead, love those who need it the most.

  7. Exactly. All I put on Facebook was a quote by mother teresa that sums up Gandalf's sentiments nicely :)
    "If you want to promote world peace, go home and love your family."
    We have to start by loving. It is the only way. It's funny how God tells us that but we don't realize how vital it is until we face hate.

  8. very cool...i think gandalf is onto something...its the little ways we interact with each other and in life that makes all the difference, but we seldom think on....

  9. We saw the movie today. That interchange was one of my favorite parts, too.

  10. I laughed about you sleeping in the movie. Hee-hee, I do that too.

    And so true, just be nice. So simple. Like a smooth stone in our pocket, let's just be nice.

  11. Brandee,

    That comment of Gandalf's resonated with me too this week. Thanks.

    Re your comment on my post "Rekinlding Romance a Moment at a Time,"
    oh, those under three years are especially tricky some days. May you and your man have great times of snuggling and laughter in the hours they sleep.

    Smiling, remembering, praying for strong passionate marriages for both of us,
    Jennifer Dougan