Spreading Kindness One Interaction at a Time
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Let's Celebrate Happiness Happens Month
Life is a series of moments that shape who we are. But the key question is, how do we act in each of these moments? After all, it's these seemingly inconsequential occurrences that come together to create the story of our lives. Choose To Be Nice (CTBN), a heartwarming movement founded by Dina Creiger in 2015, is dedicated to guiding people as they respond to this question. At its core, CTBN is committed to nurturing kindness, compassion, empathy, inclusion, connection, and appreciation in the lives of all who engage with them. To celebrate Happiness Happens Month, our founder, Liz, had an inspiring conversation with Dina about the influence CTBN has had in spreading joy and fostering a culture of positivity—essentially, how she’s established a thriving nonprofit that exists to empower others with practical tools for perpetuating acts of kindness in the world.
Inspiring a Movement
According to Dina, the motivator that spurs the vision for Choose To Be Nice is the reality and impact of choice. Every day, we all have millions of choices to make.
Dina and her dedicated team firmly embrace the conviction that choosing to live life as a genuinely nice and happy person cultivates a flourishing environment for more meaningful and positive interactions to blossom. And with that in mind, CTBN exists to illuminate the fact that opting for kindness is within our reach every single day (aka, it’s not impossible and there are tangible ways to grow in this world-changing quality).
As an organization, Choose To Be Nice has implemented various programs in schools and camps, as well as with families and communities to teach the overarching value of kindness in a practical manner. They offer lessons and resources that are designed to develop and instill their nine values (respect, kindness, acceptance, teamwork, honesty, responsibility, friendship, patience, and courage) outside the classroom and in the world. This is accomplished through the use of simple and inspiring language that keeps their content relatable and their mission easy to act upon in all environments.
Dina reported to Liz that one of the schools partnering with CTBN has developed a touching relationship with a nearby senior center. As the students and seniors have connected through singing songs, sharing cupcakes and cards, and simply being kind to one another without ulterior motives, they have built a deep seeded connection that has positively impacted all parties involved.
Creating a Compassionate Society
Through all of their efforts, CTBN focuses on one important goal: creating a more compassionate and kind society. While it may seem like a tall order, Dina believes the smallest of actions can contribute to this larger mission.
She explains that changing our behavior and communication can remind us we have a choice in how we treat one another. In a world that often feels divided, it’s crucial to pause and think about how we can improve and be nice to each other. According to Dina, in an instance of frustration or irritation, we actually have the power to choose to make the interaction meaningful.
Dina has witnessed time and time again how significant of an impact these lessons can make. She’s watched countless individuals avoid adding stress to a situation, and most importantly, make a connection with someone whom they may not otherwise have.
Dina’s expressed that the real magic in life is witnessing the impact a kind interaction can make on someone else.
The Journey to Happiness: Challenges and Choices
At a time when she faced the challenges of recovery after a significant surgery that impacted her mobility, finding happiness and choosing joy seemed like a daunting task for Dina. Although it was temporary, there was a serious period of time when she couldn’t do the things that she loved.
Through an act of kindness, her sister brought crafts over to keep her busy during recovery. Initially, Dina was hesitant to partake. But once she did, she was pleasantly surprised at the sense of peace and joy it brought to her. Dina quickly discovered a new appreciation for watercolors and collaging, a hobby she may not have sought out previously.
Sometimes, choosing to receive someone else’s act of kindness towards us can make all of the difference. And sometimes…Happiness happens in the most unexpected ways!
Choosing Kindness Is a Lifestyle
Choosing kindness isn’t a one-time act. It is choosing to be nice every day, everywhere, and in every interaction. No matter how different we are, there will always be a common thread to hold us together. By taking a moment to find that common thread, you can help make a positive impact on someone who might be in need of a moment of connection and understanding. It’s a choice that can truly make all the difference in the world.
“It’s not about winning or losing. It’s about building little moments of happiness and passing on that joy to others.” —Dina
Dina has learned throughout life that happiness happens in the little moments of life. And now, Choose To Be Nice is on a mission to help everyone learn and experience this as well.
Visit the Choose To Be Nice website today to learn more about what Dina and her team are doing to teach others how happiness happens.