Can words have a positive effect on people?
Many believe that not only do kind words have a positive impact on people but that the power behind positivity, or optimism, can actually bring on a smile, change one’s attitude – or even change one’s reaction to a situation.
Many believe the same holds true for kind words and common courtesy; words like, “excuse me” that contain enough power to actually erase annoyances (when a person cuts in front of you, or when someone accidentally jabs you with their elbow), and replace negative with positive (a smile or changed attitude).
The same power behind positive thinking is the same method adopted by sports and life coaches, as well as counselors who want to replace negative thoughts. Optimism, when taught or used consistently, can replace negative seeds planted even a lifetime ago, and like smiles – kindness can be contagious, especially when introduced spontaneously.
The very same theory is believed to be true of proper etiquette. Imagine having the ability to impact a person’s day in a positive manner just by being your usual kind self, using kind words or by adding two little words to your day such as, “excuse me”? There’s simply no excuse not to.
This very topic reminds me of a recent visit to Disneyland Resort Anaheim, a place I often term as one of my happier places to be however due to what seemed like a record number of guests in attendance we felt more like cattle being herded for branding. As night fell the aroma of freshly brewed espresso lured us into a quiet café off Main Street; it was there where we met a very nice couple visiting from Las Vegas, Nevada.
These new line buddies of ours soon had us laughing and off our nightmare on Main Street experience as we all shared our day’s adventures. It didn’t take long however for the topic to turn to the crowd and to our shock and dismay at the actions of others throughout that afternoon – they, like us, had been body slammed, poked and prodded, which we figured to be about a jab-a-minute. What was even more disturbing was the lack of common courtesy we’d all experienced, and the number of times we could all count hearing the words, “excuse me” throughout the same time frame.
As our double shots were up on the bar so was our time; we bid our friendly farewells but not before making a pact to resolve to continue our good cheer well into the new year – for we knew it wasn’t just about accountability, setting an example or any empathy we might have felt for the Disney workers trying to keep order in the crowds – we were just four people who cared enough to not let good manners become a thing of the past with 2011.
Four bruised bodies but four very brave souls held tightly onto our double lattes as we marched back out onto Main Street to spread good words and kindness as one of our resolutions for 2012. After all, what better place to start than an area perceived by many to be one of the happiest places on earth.
“Nothing so popular as goodness.” –Benjamin Franklin
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