Daily Prompt: Nice as Nice Does

Tell us about the nicest thing you’ve ever done.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us KINDNESS.

Cutting Trees on Bahnhofstrasse Solothurn

This bloke was being nice to this tree, although it was a normal working day. Some-time in the early months of the year the tree branches are cut, otherwise the population will have to buy a machete to make their way through the streets of the local town. I happened to be in town for a visit to the doc and saw the action. I did not hesitate, pulled out my super special handy digi camera and began to shoot. This was an action photo. When the bloke and his team were finished the trees were still standing but showing the naked trunks and the branches had been put into a machine and chopped into small pieces for usage on various garden beds: recycling pure and a nice job.

My memories of the word “nice” are mainly from my English teacher at school. Do not ever and never use the word “nice” in something you write. It expresses nothing, is meaningless and not a sign of a prize winning piece of literature or something like that. I heeded her words and to this day avoid the usage of this word, not wanting my chances of appearing on the prize winners stage at the Pulitzer prize awards to be thwarted by the use of such a silly word.

Not that I am an unhelpful ignorant person, I do my best. When we moved into our little village somewhere midst in the wilderness of the Swiss jungles forests where hedgehogs are more numerous than people, I was surrounded for the first time in my life by houses and people that I even had a chance to know by name. It was something different to the areas I had live in before: London with its 14,000,000 inhabitants, Zürich with around 400,000 and Solothurn the nearest town with about 16-17,000 and now I am in a village with approximately 1,000 (not including the cats and dogs). So in my euphoria of this newly found individuality I asked not what can my village do for me, but what can I do for my village.

I seem to have heard this before from a president of a large country. I looked in the local information and saw that the village had many societies, one being a first aid society. I decided I can do this and learn something so I joined. This organisation is Swiss wide and our village organisation was just a little cog in the works. If there was a local football tournament or an exercise for the local firemen putting out fires in the local schoolhouse, we were there, attending to the injured. We organised our own exercises, finding injured people in the forest, attending to expectant mothers in dire straits (we only delivered cushions) and practiced with the CPR life-saving heart thingy. We learnt a lot and my talents were recognised where I worked. I become responsible for the organisation of the office life savers (you have to know what to do if someone clamps their finger nail in the keyboard of a computer) and I suppose I was being nice to everyone, although I felt it more a common sense thing.

I am not such an active person myself but I do my best. I was asked by the organisation if I would take over the accounts as few of us knew the workings of Excel and double accounting. Although Excel was no problem, the account bit had to be learned, but I did it because no-one else could. I was not being nice, just being useful.

I remember once being in the local supermarket and a young handicapped man was having great difficulty putting his shopping in his shopping bag, one arm was not 100% active. I just asked if I could help. He held the bag and I put the shopping into it and everyone else just looked or walked on. I was not being nice, I was being helpful and using the brain that I have. How often have I had a fall, and had to help myself to stand up, everyone just passing by and minding their own business. They were not nice, just being ignorant, but that’s life I suppose.

And now I have enough of being nice today. This morning I took two spitting and angry felines to the vets with Mr. Swiss. They were not nice, but had to have their annual jabs (report follows).

Daily Prompt: Nice as Nice Does

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25 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Nice as Nice Does

  1. Pingback: Be Nice | A mom's blog

  2. Pingback: Thank You Masked Man/ Daily Prompt | I'm a Writer, Yes I Am

  3. Oh, those two will not think you are nice when you pick them up.I laughed with the teacher and the word nice.I think it is funny what some of the teachers try to instill in you. Nice might be overused but it is still word with meaning.

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  4. Pingback: Lisa's Kansa Muse

  5. Nice post!😉 My teachers taught me the same thing. “Nice” is just one of those words that has too many meanings to be meaningful. We English teachers want precision. Our students think we want more words so they write “There was a vast amount of many people in attendance.” They don’t think I’m nice when I tell them to edit and they think my standards are too nice.

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    • I like reading, I like writing, but English was never my strongest subject at school. The teachers just did not understand me. Today I have such a language mixture in my head I can be glad if I write a blog without having to check the word to use in the German/English online LEO dictionary.

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      • I understand. When I got back from China (though my Chinese isn’t good) there were words I didn’t know in English for experiences I’d only had in Chinese. One of these words was the Chinese word for ringworm… I had to go to a Chinese pharmacy for medicine because I had no idea what it was in English (one of those lovely tropical things, you know?). The nice pharmacist told me the English word.

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  8. Pingback: AN UNDERSTANDING SMILE | hastywords

  9. As a Swiss I find it very interesting following your comments and thoughts🙂
    I agree on the words selected that replace the “nice”.
    Just want to add that me, too, sometimes I am surprised of other people’s ignorance. In the village I lived before there was a lady in a wheelchair and she used to take the bus. When I sae her I asked if I could help her getting onto the bus because she wasn’t able by herself. If there was nobody helping her, the bus driver had to get out of the bus, help the lady and go back to his seat. I was disappointed seeing all the people just watching and being setup by the one to two minute delay that was imposed due to the driver had to shortly interrupt the ride. Rather than being helpful.

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