“Oh, Kay!” our ever-sweet and delightful school receptionist stopped me as I walked by on my way to grab a kid out of the carpool line. Sometimes after an assembly, we walk to get kids rather than drive through the line. I had stopped several times along the way to catch up with folks, so I was last. My poor kids. Last in the alphabet. Last thanks to a chatty-mom.

“Hi Cindy,” I smiled back at her.

“Kay, I think this key might be yours?”

Huh? A key.

She rustled through some papers on her desk then lifted up a single car key stuck to the underside of a yellow Post-It Note – bearing “KAY” in black Sharpee.

I looked at the key, noticed it to be my own and wondered how in the world it had ended up at Cindy’s desk. The last I knew I had put it in my pocket when racing from my car a few blocks from the school – slightly late, as is often the case.

“That sure is my key,” I remarked still wondering how.

“Someone thought you might be missing it so brought it to me,” she laughed and shrugged. There’s never a judgmental bone in her body, only kind words of encouragement, just nice. “I’m just glad you’ve got it.”

“Thank you so much,” I told her. Then turned to the friend next to me, “Okay – that is really nice of someone to have noticed the key that must have fallen out of my back pocket.” I was dumbfounded – not only on how it could have happened, but how someone could have noticed and been so incredibly nice to get it to a safe place. Seriously – a single key. It could have been anywhere along my path. It could have taken hours for me to retrace every step to find it.

I was floored and moved by the whole thing.

People are nice.

We can get so caught up in rude, thinking it rules the world these days especially since it grabs most daily/hourly headlines. But truth be told – on the whole – people are nice. Regular people, far from famous, driving next to us, walking normal days that are always filled with good and bad are nice. Why can’t that rule the day? Why can’t we celebrate and sink into nice instead of letting loud-rude steal the show?

So, for a Wednesday reminder, here’s some nice that often goes unsaid (but shouldn’t) that has recently crossed our path:

With most mail consisting of advertisements, college stuff, bills and junk, I was surprised to see a large white envelope hand-addressed to me in the stack. And even more surprised to open it to find a Good Grit magazine autographed by the cover-artist with a thank-you note for my subscription. What?! Who does that?

Some super nice people from the South.

I had never heard of Good Grit until it caught my eye a few weeks ago as I checked out of Central Market and noticed my sister’s dear friend Shelly on the cover. I bought it, snapped and sent a pic, then decided to read it before mailing it off to her. I loved it – and subscribed since I think what they do is cool and happy and interesting. We can all use a little of that. I thought they were nice people over there at Good Grit magazine – now I know.

Then, later that week I had another package in the mail. What in the world?! … more nice people.

This time a shirt that was quickly snatched up by a daughter. Had I recently ordered a chatbook? No. It was a thank-you gift along with a note for ordering I’ve done in the past. And let’s just say, I’m not a huge order-er. I simply used them as the end-of-year teacher gift –

and graduation party memory book for about 40 seniors last year. The books by themselves were great. I would never have imagined to be thanked again a year later!

So there’s all that nice.

And just yesterday I was overwhelmed by beauty tastefully done by the very nice people at Church of the Incarnation who open their doors every week to host our neighborhood Bible study. Every week they set up a room for us with tables and chairs, brew coffee, set out cups and iced water and make us feel welcomed and loved. The kicker – they do it out of the kindness of their heart, asking nothing in return, even though we aren’t members of the church (we’re a hodge-podge of ages and denominations.) They simply knew we needed a place to meet and opened their doors.

And it’s not just us. They’re nice, without fanfare or self promotion, to all of their neighbors. Just ask the kids at North Dallas High School directly across the street who are welcomed on any week-day to stop by for a meal and tutoring. What?! Who does that.

Nice people. Motivated by Love.

And, there are nice people everywhere.

I was moved to tears on the way to school recently listening to a news story about some very nice people with the Chicago Whitesocks who offered his old job back to Nevest Coleman, recently exonerated after serving 23 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. It could be hard find a job after 23 years in prison.

“Nevest was a good friend of mine back then and I was glad to have him back,” said Jerry Powe, his supervisor. “I’m real happy for him. Nice day today.”

I hope you have a nice day today filled with nice people. Maybe part of the secret of nice is being one of those nice people ourselves.

Thanks for walking the road with me … and a very special thanks to the nice person who found my key!

– Kay

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