As I wrap up another fantastic trip to Sydney, spending time with wonderful humans, doing the work that means so much to me as the Founder of the Just Be Nice Project, I am sitting in the Virgin Lounge at Sydney Airport feeling compelled to write about an experience I had only a couple of hours ago.
As I was walking to the train station to head to the airport, dragging my bag through Kings Cross, past the iconic water fountain, I noticed a man walking the other way. It's hard not to notice Colin, he is 6'5 for a start, but I wasn't expecting to see him and it took a moment for me to recognise him. In my head I thought "Oh, how strange, there's Colin, didn't expect to see him here."
I was dragging my bag, listening to a podcast on my headphones, thinking about getting the train and, to be honest, I was thinking about a scene in the ABC show Rake, where the characters are dancing in the very fountain I was walking past. Only a couple of steps after realising it was, in fact, Colin, I thought to myself, I should stop him and thank him for attending the PROFIS lunch on Friday. Thank him for being a part of an event that supports the Just Be Nice Project."
By the time I had finished the thought and got my headphones out we had passed each other and he was off (on his long legs).
I missed an opportunity for a thank-you. A very real, sincere and genuine thank-you. All because I was not walking around at that moment, looking for reasons to thank people in general. I was plugged into my phone, I was thinking about my own sweaty back and how I was going to catch a plane and do all the things I needed to do still today.
I missed the opportunity and I shouldn't have. I write this because I think it is important to notice when we are too caught up in our own heads that we miss opportunities like that, to thank other people. I often go out of my way to thank people, but what good is that, if at the same time I pass people in the street who deserve a handshake and a "Cheers mate" eye to eye. Regardless, I will keep an eye out for Colin when I am next in the Cross, and needless to say, I won't miss the opportunity twice.
It isn't often we publicly admit to ourselves or to others, moments where we could have done better. So now I am doing it. I missed an opportunity and I will continue to do my best to not miss them in the future. To cultivate an attitude and standing that involves looking for even more opportunities to give thanks and encouragement where I see it, at the time of seeing it.
I would encourage everyone to do the same.
Just Be Nice Project Founder;
Josh Reid Jones.
Oh, and when I next see Colin, Matt, Andrew, Alexander, Izzy, Luke, Woody, Sally, Vanya or any of the other amazing legends who put in the effort to support the JBNProject this weekend, we'll have a beer on me. Thanks again.
Just Be Nice
A collection of articles relevant to pursuing the effective execution of altruism in the search for equality of opportunity.