The Hidden Power of Nice

The other night, a group of us gathered to discuss The Meaning of Nice by Joan Duncan Oliver. What perhaps was the most interesting part of the whole discussion turned out not to be something anyone said, but something we all experienced – the hidden power of nice. After discussing our initial reaction to the book, we started talking intermittently about things and experiences, which were not nice and those which were. What was interesting was that when we were talking about that which we thought was “not nice,” people’s voices, postures, and body language changed. It was as if they were experiencing that “not nice” moment all over again. Conversely, when we talked about those nice moments and experiences, there was again a shift in the energy in the room. You could hear the power of niceness as people shared stories about individuals and organizations, which had been nice. Last July, Zoe was diagnosed with breast cancer. The last year has been filled with so many nice moments it was hard to know where to begin as the wave of memories washed over me.
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