June 1st was “National Say Something Nice Day.” Maybe you knew that. I did not. Likewise, my focusing on this has nothing to do with placing it above the other holidays for this month. I just felt we needed a breath of fresh air in light of all the shootings, killings, division, hatred and war presently taking place. The saying, “Laughter is the best medicine,” isn’t just hot air. Medical science has long held that endorphins — the chemicals produced by positive feelings like laughter — have a positive effect on a body’s health and well-being. Even God tells us in Proverbs 17:22 that, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” Anyone can get these endorphins flowing by being nice.
This holiday was established to counteract bullying and the lack of politeness and common courtesy that is growing among people in today’s world. Hopefully, the practice of saying something nice will not just be on this day but every day into the future.
What would happen in this nation if we all took the advice that many parents have given—”If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” One of the reasons our parents taught us that is because once we speak words, we can’t take them back, no matter how true we think they might be. Maybe you heard the saying, “Be careful with your words. Once they are said, they can be only forgiven, not forgotten.” Another one is, “Words are free. It’s how you use them that may cost.”
What Would Happen?
What would happen in this nation if we all took the advice that is given by our Heavenly Father?
Proverbs 16:24 – “Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”
Proverbs 18:21 – “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
Proverbs 11:9 – “The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous will be delivered.”
Proverbs 15:4 – “A soothing tongue [speaking words that build up and encourage] is a tree of life, but a perversive tongue [speaking words that overwhelm and depress] crushes the spirit.”
What if we turned “National Say Something Nice Day” into “Daily Say Something Nice Day?” What if daily (or at least weekly) we tried to bring a smile to someone’s face or joy to their heart by saying something nice, not seeking a reward for ourselves? There’s an adage that says, “People may not remember what you do, but they’ll certainly remember how you made them feel.”
To have a daily “Say Something Nice Day” is going to take disciple. You may insist that the negativity you feel toward a person is based on truth. This is not about false compliments. It is about finding something positive that you can genuinely compliment someone on. James, Chapter 3, has a lot to say about our mouth and the words that flow from it. Verses 6-10 state, “And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!”
Let’s Do It!
Therefore, let’s all purpose to have a daily “Say Something Nice Day.” Whether it is towards family members, acquaintances, co-workers or even foes, find a way to say something kind. Be nice somehow. You may be able to acknowledge an accomplishment or project done well. You may be able to express appreciation for some quality that they display. Maybe you can thank someone for just being there when you needed them. There is a multitude of ways to say something nice each day, whether verbally or in writing.
So let’s get going and make the world a better place just by being kind with our words. And oh, that means even towards ourselves. Our own self talk needs to be kind as well. I believe you can do this (smile).