Tuesday, May 19, 2009

In Search of...nice people

It is a well known fact that people in the music business do not have a reputation for being genuinely or particularly nice. This has been the case long before Simon Cowell ever entered into our psyches, however, he has been the poster child for the past several years. Of course, that's not including Phil Spector who finally got convicted of second degree murder. I think we can all pretty much agree that Phil is not playing with the same deck of cards as the rest of us. Anyway, I've lamented about it, I've vented about it, I've whined about it, and I've hoped beyond hope that I would not become one of "those people."

I'm not sure that society as a whole has really given the idea of being "nice" as much consideration as I have. That sort of seemed taken off the table since the inception of the TV show Survivor, which appears to be a good benchmark for the downfall of our civilization as we knew it. For that matter, I feel fairly certain that the absence of nice people has permeated every type of profession, and not just my own. I might have thought I was alone in this observation were it not for watching Oprah yesterday. (Yes, I watch Oprah. That's what I do.) She had the finale of her worldwide search for talented kids. And though the kids were talented, that wasn't what blew me away.

As her little co-host, Oprah had an adorable girl from a previous show she had done, and that adorable little girl wanted to learn to play the guitar and write songs...like Taylor Swift. (Fortunately for said adorable little girl, I was not there to dissuade her from a life of struggle and heartache, but I digress.) So Oprah, being Oprah, had Taylor Swift come out and give her a guitar to get started on. And then Oprah asked Taylor if she had any advice for all these young, talented kids. Here's where the mind blowing part came for me. Taylor Swift's advice was to "be nice to everyone."

Now I know that the bigger ramifications of that statement were completely lost on those talented kids, but they were not lost on me. And the fact that a nineteen year old was saying it, and making a point of it, meant that it is not the norm in this business and that fact is not lost on her, even at nineteen.

I felt at once validated and saddened. Is this what we've come to - we have to remind people to be nice? Really?? We have to remind them to be nice to everyone and not just some people because otherwise they'll just be nice to the ones they deem important or worthy of their niceness??

I can only hope that those talented kids, the studio audience, and Oprah's TV audience at large took that to heart as I did. So let's remember that the next time we're impatiently waiting on line at the grocery store, or the next time a car wants to move into our lane, or the next time we meet someone new. Let's remember what nineteen year old Taylor Swift said and be nice.

Thanks for stopping by, nice people. Please tell your friends.


  1. Okay, I'll try to be nicer...

  2. ...but only because Taylor Swift and Oprah tell me to...