Iowa Specialty Hospital

Notes from Steve

April 3, 2023

Be nice.

When I think of “be nice” - it’s usually in scolding fashion.  When someone is being a jerk - I think/say “be nice!”.  But if I think of living my life with “be nice” as my mission statement - what’s that mean??

Iowa nice is a term I’ve used to say that sometimes we default to passive acceptance … “don’t say anything because it would be controversial and maybe mean”.  Like road rage.  I scream and yell in my car at other drivers (not so they can see me) but if I saw them at Casey’s - I wouldn’t say “in Iowa we use our blinkers and don’t speed”.  I’d think it -- but I’m too “nice” to verbalize it.*

I’m redefining “nice” for myself.  I’m going to take it out of the scolding mode I had it in and use it in a kind way.  My friend Gail - a retired director of nursing - used to go up to staff when they weren’t being nice and put her arm around their shoulder and say, “Steve - I know you’re better than that.  Maybe you’re having a hard day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be kind.  I believe in you.” 

Being nice is being kind and genuine.  It’s a reminder that even when it’s not the best of times, being nice and kind is the best route to take.

*My friend Jana - who was a motivational speaker - would say about the non-blinking speeders … “we don’t know their story - maybe they were rushing to the hospital or had another emergency - we can’t judge them.”  Sigh … she’s right.

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