Just be nice. Can it possibly be this simple? Could these three little words change everything? While being nice makes you feel good and makes other people feel good, can these good feelings really change the world around you?
Not surprisingly, there is actually a "Just Be Nice" Foundation and global movement. A man named George Mason from Tampa Florida started it when he decided to print a few "Just Be Nice" bumper stickers. Mason started distributing the inspiring message in different locations and it went viral.
Shortly after his death, his family decided to pick up with George's message.
"We believe, like our Dad, in the universal good of all people and want to engage communities across the globe to 'Just Be Nice'," said the Mason Family, who now sell the message on T-shirts, stickers, mugs and much more.
On the evening of May 25, the Tibetan Buddhist Maui Dharma Center in Pa'ia hosted a birthday celebration for the Buddha (see "The Buddha's Birthday" on page 5). Those three words, "Just Be Nice," were demonstrated by actions and goodwill. To begin with, one couldn't help but notice the kind and gentle way people greeted each other. There was a nod or small bow showing great respect for each and every one--a most gracious way of saying hello and offering best wishes.
It's no wonder Tibetan Buddhism has become more popular these days, especially among people seeking answers in this current global age of clashing ideologies, fanatical strife and senseless violence.
Why is this interest growing so quickly, especially in the West? A few of the reasons have to do with the Buddhist teachings of compassion and tolerance. A clear path of spiritual and personal teachings demands that we take full responsibility for our actions while being mindful and respectful of others.
Developing the practices of harmlessness and compassion, kindness and generosity, faithfulness and responsibility, truthfulness, pleasant speech, self-control and mindfulness--in short, how to "Just Be Nice"--improves the quality of our collective daily life.
The Maui Dharma Center is inclusive and welcoming. Moreover, it does not ask for followers, but seeks dedicated practitioners of daily compassion, love and wisdom to transform the world into a happier place. Believing in universal compassion, the center enjoins us to practice it toward all beings.
"All in the community are welcome," said the center's Venerable Lama Gyaltsen.
We can change the world. Just be nice!