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H.O.W. to Make a Positive Impact on the World

Updated on December 1, 2012
Seriously - it IS that easy folks!
Seriously - it IS that easy folks! | Source

My friend Bill Holland (aka billybuc on HubPages) sent out a challenge to everyone he knows - write about the many different ways we can make the world a better place. He encouraged his friends to write HOW we can become united as people regardless of age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, religion and so on. We can become united to work towards the common goal of love, compassion, peace, and harmony. It CAN happen people - we CAN stop violence against women and children, we CAN stop hunger, we CAN stamp out slave trades. We can do it together. And I tell you this, it is MUCH easier than you can ever think. We can make this world of ours a better place simply by being nice. I know it sounds so simple and rather plain when we're talking about FIXING THE WORLD but if it was so easy to be nice we wouldn’t find ourselves facing the numerous horrible news stories each and every day on television. If we all work a little harder at being nice I think we could have a huge impact on others. Heck, you don’t even have to go above and beyond and be friendly with everyone – just BE NICE!

Let me give you some examples of how difficult it can be to be nice and how easy it can be.

The homeless need love and help - not a blind eye
The homeless need love and help - not a blind eye

The Homeless Need Compassion

You walk by a street bum on your way into work every day. He sits there in smelly rags and holds out his Styrofoam cup begging for pennies. It irritates you that he sits there with his hand out, smelling like last week’s trash – he’s so close to the door that he almost trips you when you enter the building. With your nose in the air you rush through the doors to the lush lobby. The door swings open a bit too far and you hit the bum in the leg. ‘Serves him right’ you think as you head to the elevator. You don’t know the person you just abused is a war veteran suffering from PTSD and you don’t care to know. All you’re concerned with is getting inside, beyond the stench, and calling building security to chase the guy away. It was too difficult to ignore the smell and offer the poor guy a smile. It was too difficult to hand him the 13 cents left over from your daily Starbucks stop. It was too difficult to be nice. And you took it a step further – not only were you ‘not nice’ but you went out of your way to get the man evicted from the only place he felt safe. It really and truly is difficult for some people to be nice.

The elderly need patience and understanding.
The elderly need patience and understanding. | Source

The Elderly Need Understanding

You’re late getting your daughter to soccer practice again. And wouldn’t you know it…you are stuck behind some old lady who wont move her ass. Can’t she read the posted speed limit is 45? Someone should take her license away. She has to be pushing 80 anyways. Yes, she’s turning, thank goodness. As the old lady turns down a side street you lay on your horn and give her the middle finger. There, that made you feel better. What you don’t see is that the old lady has pulled her car over to the curb to cry. She just spent all night at the hospital to be by her husband’s side when he passed. If you would have known that little bit of information there’s no way you would’ve been so mean. But why did you need to know that the old woman’s husband just died in order to be nice to her? Im not saying to give her a million dollars or to offer her a room in your house so she doesn’t have to live alone. But how hard would it have been for you to show a little more patience or to keep your hand off the horn and your finger out of the air?

Protect the children and teach them kindness through example
Protect the children and teach them kindness through example | Source

Children Need Protection

You’re an elementary school teacher and there’s a little girl in your classroom that always shows up wearing the trendiest clothes and carrying the latest hot toy in her backpack. She is such a spoiled brat that most of the kids don’t want to spend any time with her. She is loud, bossy, demanding, and aggressive. The girl is known for her frequent outbursts and tantrums. You often see her sitting alone watching the other kids play and your first thought is “I don’t blame those other kids – she’s a terror and I wouldn’t play with her either”. Instead of trying to encourage the other kids to include Ms Hostile-Spoiled-Pants you kick back and grade some assignments. If only you had spent some time getting to know this little girl you might have found out that the only attention she gets at home is when her father sexually abuses her. She is scared and confused and hurting – it all comes out in her behavior at school, where she feels safest. This little girl has the best clothes and toys but she would trade them all for a normal life. Instead of being nice and getting to know the child you focused your attention on another, easy-going child. Just a simple smile or a word of encouragement could have been enough to get the troubled little girl to open up to you. But it was too difficult to be nice.


The point I’m trying to make is that it doesn’t take a lot to make an impact. Everything you say or don’t say and everything you do or don’t do impacts another person’s life either for the positive or the negative. All it takes is the conscious decision to be positive towards others. Next time you pass a homeless person on the street offer him a smile. If you see a child who has behavior issues, investigate further – there may be a reason he or she is acting out. If you see an elderly person struggle with a door offer to help instead of getting impatient. Once you make the decision to be nicer to everyone you will notice how easy it is and how quickly is becomes like second nature. And guess what – you’ll feel better for it too!

Don't Judge Me

Don’t judge me until you walk a day in my shoes

I once lived in a nice house just like you

Yah I smell funny and haven’t shaved in a week

Does that make you that much better than me?

Don’t judge me until you walk a day in my shoes

I’ve lived a long life and I’ve paid all my dues

Sure I move slow and don’t always get outta your way

Is my age supposed to make your hurtful words okay?

Don’t judge me until you walk a day in my shoes

I can only wish to live a safe, normal life too

Mama died when I was born - daddy loves me all wrong

See Im not a brat - these fits are my way of being strong.


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    • Kalmiya profile image


      6 years ago from North America

      Thanks for this upbeat article Ardie! There is also an interesting organization called KIVA who promote micro finance loans ($25.00 loans) to entrepreneurs and small business people around the world. Worth checking out. Keep up the great work!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      What do you possibly know about nice!!!!! Why don't you let your gushing followers know the real you. You ain't so sweet, you're actually extremely cruel. Try sticking to thing you know about like lies, deceit.........


    • quicksand profile image


      6 years ago

      It's easier to be nice as one grows older and as the ego begins to wear out. However this article is a great "sense-knocker!" It is very well written and is capable of knocking sense into many concrete coated hearts. Congratulations and good wishes. I'll start doing my bit in my own way!

      (:------Warm Wide Smile------:)

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 

      6 years ago from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA

      Up, Useful, Awesome, and Interesting and shared with followers and on social networking sites. Be nice. Be patient. Be compassionate. Don't be mean. Choosing to live by such ideals does make the world a better place.

      It is even possible to be nice to not nice people. I used to live in a town where there was a taboo against being not nice. Being sincerely nice was admired; being insincerely nice was accepted; being not nice was unacceptable, and this was shown in nice ways.

      Once a co-worker with personal problems was irritated by someone's faux pas and had a fit of angry shouting. Both owners and employees treated both his targets and him with bewildered concern, until he calmed down and resumed acting nice.

      An university student told me of a time he was driving around that town with friends when the driver of another car made some irritating mistake. The student told me that he moved a hand toward his car horn, not actually touching it. For the rest of the ride, his friends teased him. Even thinking about honking a horn in anger was taboo.

    • Born2care2001 profile image

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 

      6 years ago from Asheville NC

      Loved it Ardie! Bill would be proud!

      Voted Up and using it!

    • poshcoffeeco profile image

      Steve Mitchell 

      6 years ago from Cambridgeshire


      It is so true what you say and something I often tell people when they are complaining about others. You just never know what the other person is going through in their life at that time. I do try to go out of my way to be nice, even though sometimes others make it hard for you. It is amazing, though how others become nicer to you as a result, even those who have not been so nice to you in the past.

    • TheManWithNoPants profile image


      6 years ago from Tucson, Az.

      Hmmmm ...

    • epigramman profile image


      6 years ago

      Ardie, you're not only nice - you're hot. So that makes you hot and nice - or nice and hot - lol - either way you always have had your heart in the right thing - one does not need H.O.W. or organized religion to be told what to do - it should just be common sense like a natural reflex and of course it has everything to do with one's upbringing doesn't it - but in my humble epi book you're still nice - and hot too.


      Sending you warm wishes and good energy from lake erie time ontario canada 9:26pm no snow yet over here more rain than anything

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      it does seem simple...just be nice. I think there are lots of nice people out there who want to help and share. I also know a lot of selfish people who don't...thanks for writing this and hopefully someone will read this and become nice.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      Great hub Ardie, yes if only we could be nicer the world would be a well better and nicer place, sadly we are so caught up in our own little worlds that we forget about others, so great to see another HOW hub, keep em coming, great stuff and voted and shared!

    • TheManWithNoPants profile image


      6 years ago from Tucson, Az.

      oooookay ...

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 

      6 years ago from Mississauga, ON


      In my earlier comment, I forgot to mention that we need hubs on these lines more frequently and by more hubbers. In these times of artificially created divisions among various peoples, we need hubs that can bring humanity together. We need to remove barriers and help those who need our financial and psychological support.

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      Hi Debbie :) thank you for the comment. One thing here is more than obvious - YOU know how to be nice...and then some. I will add links to HOW Hubs too! I dont know why I didnt think of that. Merry Christmas sweet friend

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Ardie.. wow.. another great hub in the HOW SERIES.. Ardie this is really great not just good but great.. so many people just dont know how to be nice.. I am going to link your HOW HUB with my HOW hub.

      Merry Christmas my dear


    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      Behave Jim.

    • TheManWithNoPants profile image


      6 years ago from Tucson, Az.

      I'm sorry, but I can not let this continue. I mean, puttting up a lovely front is one thing but ... " Kelly, road rage…ugh. I see it all the time on my way home from work. It makes me sick too. Like you said – what if the other person were your mother or daughter? I always try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt because"

      Oh please Sweet Jesus!! You are the road rage queen of Ohio! People are terrified of you. First your singing at the top of your lungs with love in your heart as you drive down the freeway. Then somebody pulls into your lane and makes you slow down, then all hell breaks loose. Red hair sticks straight up, flames leaping from your ears, you start flipping them off with both hands AND and both feet while screaming things I never heard before. Then you're back to singing. There is no rush hour in Ohio because of you. People just wait till you are in bed to drive home from work. You are the most compassionate little nuggies I know, but not when you're driving the red bus. You are crazy. Like I said, you ARE nice, but when someone brings up road rage, just let it go by. The less said about you and road rage the better if you insist on keeping up this PTA image here. Sorry, Poop. You're a sweet heart when not in "Red Rage" but let's just avoid the toppic from now on. Now git them dishes done and fetch me a beer!

      ~ jim

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      ImKarn, I knew I was drawn to you and now I know why! You are a sister Libra =) The challenge that Bill issued is right up my alley as well and I cant wait to contribute more to his cause. My first contribution is just a cry to everyone to be nice. Next I will be convincing others to actually go above and beyond just being nice. Next we need to show compassion and we need to help. Ugh – there is just so much to do. And btw girlie – I KNOW you are nice. So you aren’t fooling anyone with your squirming =)

      Justsilvie, you’re right. Being nice is a first step. Its so easy and we can build on that. Thanks for reading =)

      CC! Just DO it =) thanks for always being you and being so nice. You aren’t just nice, you are NICE. Thanks for reading, you know it means a lot to me to see you here.

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      Btrbell, thank you! You know exactly where Im coming from. Some people make being nice look like a real chore. I say they just need more practice =)

      Subhail – thank you so much!

      Lrc7815, thank you so much! Being called nice is a real honor for me because I do think it is of so much importance. My mom taught me to be nice and to care for others and I’m teaching the same to my daughters. I hope it takes hold =)

      HoneyBB, being considerate ranks right up there with being nice in my book. These are the simple characteristics that should’ve been taught to every child. So where did it all go? I say we fight to get it back. I do believe there are more nice people in the world than there are mean people. But the mean stands out so much more. Thanks for reading and voting :)

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      Old Poolman, huh - could you imagine the day? “Folks, go about your business. Nothing bad has happened here. Nothing bad has happened anywhere for that matter!” It breaks my heart to watch the news. And I know most people would say I’m uninformed because I don’t catch news stories. But honestly, they just make me so sad. Too many people hurt each other just because they can. It doesn’t make sense. You can’t convince me that it takes more energy and time to smile than it does to flip the bird or scream obscenities.

      Fpher, oooh no – I know just the kind you’re talking about too. I’ve heard that the homeless get me pegged for being a ‘giver’ the instant they see me. I think that’s silly. Just because I smile and say hello to the person doesn’t mean I have anything to give. It just means I have compassion. Thanks for agreeing with me (that makes you awesome in my book haha) and for the votes.

      Jim, you’re always the nicest person I know. Or at least you are now that I’ve gotten you whipped into shape =) And don’t try to fool anyone here – you are the biggest softie I’ve ever known. You have all these badass stories but we both know you’d take a bum in off the street and give him your clothes. Wait, that sounds like the story you just told me today ;)

      Martie, I don’t believe that you aren’t always nice. You are nice and you are REAL. You are one of the most real people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. It IS possible to be real and still be nice. Wow, I think that’s the most times I’ve said the words nice and real together =) Okay, moving on. I agree with you about the professional beggars. They ruin it for the people out there who really do need a hand out and a hand up. My city is littered with these prof beggars and they’re easy to spot. I do NOT have compassion for those people (one of the men who stands on the off ramp by my house is someone I know. He has a home and he has a family. But he makes more standing on the street than he did at his factory job. I know this because I asked him about it.) Im glad you brought this up on the Hub because it is a sad, stupid reality that some people feed on the nice-ness of others.

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      Joseph, I think this HOW project is one of the greatest ideas I’ve seen in ages. Im so glad I was invited into it =) Thanks for taking the time to read old friend.

      Kelly, road rage…ugh. I see it all the time on my way home from work. It makes me sick too. Like you said – what if the other person were your mother or daughter? I always try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt because I know there are days I look like Im fine but inside Im dealin g with so much that I do dumb things. The last thing I need at that time is for someone to flip me the bird or call me a dumb female driver. And don’t get my started on the vets. I also strongly feel that they should get housing and medical for what they sacrifice.

      Tillsontitan! Thanks for the votes =) Being nice is such a simple idea but some people make it look like its such a chore. My theory is that practice makes perfect.

      Bill, you are the reason for all the positive Hubs on HP today. That has to feel great =) One person at a time, one step at a time, and one smile at a time. We CAN do this.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      6 years ago from Western NC

      Just DO it - Just BE nice. :) I love your tribute to HOW. You're a wonderful person, Ardie and you're inspiring others to just be nice.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very Nice! Just treating each other with compassion would be the first step to a better world and you said it well. Voted up and shared!

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 

      6 years ago

      Ardie, this is very, very powerful stuff - this 'just be nice' stuff you speak of!

      'JUST' be nice - that's IT?' - people may well ask - but those people cannot envision a world where everyone was JUST nice! It's too much to grasp that 'just' being nice may 'just' be the key to world peace!

      Just nice to the poor soul next to them, Nice to the old one in front of them, the hurting one behind them, the mentally challenged one across the street, the abused one at school, or the lonely, misunderstood ones everywhere!

      I was away when Bill's challenge was issued, and have yet to catch up, but - you KNOW i'm gonna get in on this one - it's right up my libra alley, if you will..

      I won't say that some of what you spoke of didn't make me squirm - as i am guilty of not always being 'nice' - BUT - the important thing is that i DO try, and - i DO try to get others to be more tolerant as well...

      We NEVER know where someone else has walked, and we should not be so arrogant as to feel never knows where life may lead..

      BTW - December is Universal Human Rights Month, so - this is an even MORE appropriate topic than usual..

      Excellent, insightful words, Ardie - i adore your perspective, understanding, and tolerance!

      Namaste, my friend..

    • HoneyBB profile image

      H Lax 

      6 years ago

      Excellent article and something that many can relate to. The top thing that I want to see in the people in my life is that they are considerate. Thanks for sharing. Voted +++

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 

      6 years ago from Central Virginia

      We haven't met here on HP but I am a fan as a result of this one hub. You can't write like this unless you also live "nice". This hub is beautifully written and full of soul; a perfect addition to Bill's "H.O.W." movement. Now, I have to visit your profile to read more of your work. Voted up, awesome, beautiful, useful and wishing there was a 'wow" button.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 

      6 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Very useful hub. I learnt a lot from here.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Such a basic idea, yet so difficult for so many to follow. Thank you for a great hub with lots of food for thought. Up+

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Touching hub, making me feel guilty because I am not always nice. To be honest - may I be forgiven - there is something repelling about beggars standing on street corners covering themselves with screaming "Help-me-I-am-hungry!' posters. The ones I see daily down here, marching up and down at traffic lights on the white lines between lanes, allowing the sun to turn their skins into rubber, provoking feelings of guilt in spectators, are the professional beggars not willing to work. Offer them a job as simple as can be, or merely ask them to help you pick up some rubbish littered by uneducated and careless motorists, and listen to their ridiculous excuses. You will also see them standing in the lines at the local welfare depot, receiving their meals for the day and whatever they need, and then you'll see them at the liqueur store, spending all income of the day on alcohol. Apparently they are born to be parasites. Of course, they, too, need help, but in the form of education. Rather spend Time on them, force and encourage them to learn one or the other skill, make them work and pay them with the goods they truly need. Unfortunately they will reject all your efforts to help them out of what you call a ditch of misery, but they call 'normal life'.

      Only a corner away, you will see proud people who have lost their jobs, waiting patiently to be hired for the day, or to receive whatever you have to give away.

      Ardie, this is an inspiring contribution to H.O.W. Sorry, but I could not resist the opportunity to share my negative thoughts about professional beggars.

    • TheManWithNoPants profile image


      6 years ago from Tucson, Az.

      Good work Poop. No jokes here. This was some good stuff to soak the brain in. I've brought people into my home and I've helped people get back on their feet. I'm good to people, but I could probably work on being nicer. You know, I just need to be more patient with morons. That's really my only downfall on being nice. You know me better than anyone alive. Then there's people who have a problem showing respect, and people with bad manners. Then there's people who like to bully people who are weaker than themselves ... I've made a life out of putting these kind of people in check. I'ts what I do. YOU ... are nice. You're nice to everyone. (cept me, but you're allowed)

      Look, I'm not sure where I fit in with "nice" but we need nice people. This was a simple, uplifting Hub. It was ... well ... "nice". Good stuff. I'm glad to see you back at writing. Life's full right now, but you have to make time for this. I support you because I'm planning on you making bucket fulls of money and supporting me! :D

      ~ jim

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Ardie......Of course, what you say, is so very true. As if this inability to simply be "nice," is not sad enough......I have encountered those uppity, self-absorbed individuals who honestly believe....."If you help a homeless person, you are making matters worse."

      The hard core reality is that there will always be those who just "don't get it." Those who delude themselves by thinking that misfortune is a person's own fault. I'm convinced this is their own selfish way of wearing blinders, so they never have to face the truth.....and do something positive or helpful.

      All of this means you are as right as rain, Ardie...and the rest of us must try harder, do more and act with compassion. Excellent hub!...UP+++

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 

      6 years ago

      This was awesome. What if we turned on the news one morning and they said, "Nothing to report today." You are so correct that we could make this happen just be being kind to one another. We really don't know that much about the person who makes us angry and what is going on in his or her life. Job well done with this hub.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are a doll and I'm proud to be your friend. This is a great way to end my day. Thank you, Ardie! I hard is it to be nice? Thank you so much for helping the movement. One person at a time we can change this world.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Work sure hasn't hampered your writing! This was great. Such a small step with such big results, just being NICE! Taking the time to stop and think before acting crudely or rudely against someone, taking the time to give a little bit of attention to someone who might need it...I rated this up, useful, and awesome! Shared too.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I wish people would stop a minute and realize how lucky they are when they see less fortunate people.

      Driving...makes me angry to see people be so mean to each other on the road. I always think...what if that was your mom? Or your young daughter? No one would want others to be mean knowing all humans err. People make mistakes - even while driving. We don't know what outside influences could be happening to them. Oh anyhow...

      I also am angry that there are such a large portion of homeless who are Vets. How can we treat the people that fought for our freedom like that? Is a disgrace. They should have free apartments for life...but that's just my little wacked out opinion:)

      Excellent! Up and everything:)

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 

      6 years ago from New York

      See? HP was nice enough to let this H.O.W. project take off. Is a win-win situation. Love your Nice hub, and we cannot judge on looks or even mood of the day. Can we just et along? Wonderful addition to the series Sondra! Yikes! :)


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