Between end-of-year contributions and adopt-a-families, I have a few plans for “nicing” this holiday season, but I wanted to do something a little different for this post. Normally, my charitable contributions go to my four-legged friends, and I had a particular bear in mind for this activity – yes, that’s right, a bear. But as I thought about the definition of "nicing" and the hope that someone might “pay-it-forward”, I decided that I would nice someone with opposable thumbs.
I scanned the aisles of Target and Goodwill with a plan to find someone who seemed like they could really use a pick-me-up. Perhaps I was looking too hard, trying to pinpoint the right person or find an inspirational story in the process, but I couldn’t do it. I had allocated $50 for this activity, and I simply couldn’t figure out who it should go to. Who really needed it? Who would be excited about it? Would anyone take it the wrong way? Without a doubt, I was making it too complicated.
But after a long day of holiday shopping, my husband and I went to a local brew pub and I instantaneously decided that I would nice our waitress and the staff. It was late on a Monday, the pub was about to close and I was sure that they could all use a beer. When I told the server that I’d like to buy her and the other staff members a round she almost didn’t believe me. Before I could finish my sentence she skipped over to her coworkers and proclaimed, “This never happens!”
It was nice. So much so, that my husband decided he was also feeling generous. He handed me money and said, “I’d like for you to still donate to the bear.” I was niced after being nice. Perhaps the greatest nicing of all?
I went home and sent $125 to Boo Boo – a black bear born in a breeding compound and taken from his mother when he was just two weeks old. Sold as a pet, he was chained to a tree in the backyard. The owner eventually lost the key leaving Boo Boo literally stuck in a chain that he was quickly outgrowing. Unwilling to pay for its removal, the chain grew an inch and a half into Boo Boo’s neck. When he eventually found his was to the PAWS (Performing Animal Welfare Society) rescue organization in California, the chain had to be surgically removed and Boo Boo was treated for a series of infections. He now resides with several other rescue bears, including his new best friend, Winston.