Nice Idea?

There’s an Eminem quote being circulated widely at the moment which you may have seen:
“I don’t care if you’re black, white, straight, bisexual, gay, lesbian, short, tall, fat, skinny, rich or poor. If you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice to you. Simple as that.”
– Eminem.
It’s particularly popular on Facebook. You may have seen it as a graphic like this:


For some reason that quote really got my goat because it seems such a bad attitude to only be nice to people if they’re nice to you first

I was disappointed too because I’m an Eminem fan, but it appears that the quote is not only uninspiring but, according to The Damien Zone, a fake because Eminem never said it.

So I wanted to highlight a different way of thinking where we’re nice to each other because we’re nice people, and we always strive to be nice even if someone’s not nice to us.


In other words we don’t wait to see if people are nice to us before deciding how to treat them, we aim to be nice to everyone no matter what. It’s not something we can always achieve but a good goal to aim for.

I started scouting around for a Buddhist quote about being kind to others because they have the whole loving kindness thing down pat. But I couldn’t find the perfect quote about how we should be kind to everyone even if they’re not kind to us.

There were a few quotes I loved. You can’t beat this one by everyone’s favourite loving kindness hero:

“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”
Dalai Lama

I’ve never heard of this guy before but he seems to have a good outlook towards other people and relationships too:

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
Leo Buscaglia

But in the end I decided that the quote I liked best was by an unknown author:

“Some people are too tired to give you a smile. Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give.”


What do you think? Maybe if we can get these images circulating on Facebook we won’t all stand around waiting for someone to be nice to us but we’ll all strive to be the first one to be nice.

If you like the idea please share one of the images above on Facebook, Twitter or wherever you like to hang out. Thank you for helping to spread the niceness revolution!

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  1. Sandra Pawula October 14, 2014 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    Annabel, I’m with you on this one all the way! Even though it’s challenging, it’s so worthwhile. Like the Dalai Lama says, “Be wisely selfish.” Harming others and unfriendliness only harms you. Right on, Annabel.

    • Annabel Candy October 14, 2014 at 2:24 pm - Reply

      Hi Sandra,

      Oooh, Be wisely selfish! I love that quote too :)

  2. Seana - Sydney, Kids, Food + Travel October 20, 2014 at 2:40 pm - Reply

    Hello there, I do agree with you, A. I like it when people are nice to me and especially so if I’m feeling forlorn. And I do try to smile and be kind… it’s good for the cheek muscles and the heart muscle too.

  3. Julia Falco November 1, 2014 at 7:02 am - Reply

    Hi! I’m glad you brought this out. It puzzles me why people are becoming more and more stingy with their smile these days and if ever they do it’s only for courtesy. I have come across Eminem’s lines before (my daughter listens to Eminem) and I did not like it and told my daughter to stay on the look out for who she listens to. True, lots of singers nowadays are shallow and what baffles me more is their huge following. Anyhow…what about the so famous golden rule? Isn’t that the gist of Eminem’s lyrics? Something to think about.

  4. Monique@The Urban Mum November 5, 2014 at 4:48 am - Reply

    I lived in North Queensland when I was younger where it was like one big Bear Hug…every day. When I moved to Sydney I used to hop into lifts and day hello to any occupants… The general response would be… Crickets…I’ve toned it down, but I still like to greet people I pass on my regular morning walks – most won’t say it first but I do get a smile back. I tell my boys to be nice and you will be amazed at the response you get (on the flip side I also say to give people a few chances, but if negativity keeps coming back , then move away – there is strength in nice so no need to be a mouse if you don’t get reciprocal rights!)

  5. Sue November 6, 2014 at 3:48 am - Reply

    Well said, Annabel! Eminem’s quote really rubbed me the wrong way too. Apart from (or perhaps in addition to) the fact that it suggests a “me first” and (dare I say) calculating approach that sees human interactions as little more than economic transactions, it lacks compassion. The quote you found by an anonymous author is a much more compassionate and generous way to relating to other people.

  6. Jamila November 12, 2014 at 8:49 am - Reply

    Hi Annabel, totally agree. If we are kind to others then it is not only good for us but it also spreads kindness and touches others. If we would practise a bit more kindness, it would be fantastic and this world would be a better place. I keep on being optimistic :)
    Here is a nice short video that is exactly about that. It started out to be an experiment and it is very touching and moving. Here is the link

    Have a great day!

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