Why start the Just Be Nice Project? What is it all about? Being nice seems like a great premise for a business, but what does it mean?
The answer is relatively simple, we started it because at the end of the day, the simplest way for people to start making positive change in the world is to Just Be Nice. Not only through grand gestures, when it suits them, but to everyone, as often as possible.
Being nice is step one. Just be nice each day, wave when you’re let into traffic, smile and say thank you when you get your coffee, help your friends when they need a hand. Just Be Nice.
If everyone was nice, all the time, the world would be a much better place to live. Consistency is more important than intensity. It should become habit, so if you remember the time that you were nice, you are probably not being that nice.
Doing good however, is a slightly different proposition. Everyone can achieve the same level of being nice, because it’s about what you do. However, the truth is; not everyone can do the same amount of good.
Doing good is about helping others. Doing good is less about what you do and more about what happens for the person getting help.
In medical terms, being nice is the bedside manner. It is important, and it helps, but all the bedside manner in the world won’t cure a disease.
Doing good is treating the illness, and moving people from sick, to well.
Bedside manner, caring about those who are sick, and being nice, can be done by people with good intentions. People who want to hold hands and emotionally support people during tough times.
Treatments however, require hundreds if not thousands of people contributing to research and development, billions in equipment, infrastructure, hospitals, research facilities, studies, medicines etc. Each time we treat or cure a disease, it’s because people have dedicated their lives and skills to the cause.
In addition, the people who administer the treatments spend years at school and university to be able to treat these patients. The Doctors, nurses and support staff, are able to do more good as a result of their effort, training and support infrastructure.
The Just Be Nice Project is about bringing the two together. Bringing together the best of the big hearts, the caring and emotional support that humans need so badly, as well as bringing together the best in infrastructure and expertise to deliver ‘cures’ and ‘treatments’ to the disadvantaged. To facilitate the necessary long-term research and results driven testing to find the best ways to deliver people an equality of opportunity.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t just matter how much someone cares, you cannot ‘care’ someone better if you do not have the skills or resources to treat them. It also doesn’t work if you simply give someone a treatment, and not consider the fact that humans need more than some logistical boxes ticked to help them move from disadvantage to an equality of opportunity.
Philosopher Bertrand Russell said, “The good life is one inspired by love, and guided by knowledge”. We agree. Without love we lack the impetus to care enough to acquire the knowledge for the good of others, but without the knowledge we are just bundles of misguided, ineffective intention.
“The good life is one inspired by love, and guided by knowledge” B. Russell
If you want to be nice, it is simple. Show compassion, pay attention, be empathetic, be nice to everyone you can, including people doing it tough. If you want to do good, take the time working out the best way to do that. Starting by understanding what you really excel at, then speaking to us about what things you could possibly do that make sense for your skill set. At the JBNProject, each day we bring people and organisations together, using their skills to do good, not just be nice. It’s the long way, and it takes time, but all good solutions take time, infrastructure and support. Building long term sustainable programs, we determine best practice to comprehensively move people from a situation of disadvantage to an equality of opportunity.
Remember, it starts with being nice, as close to all the time as you can!
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The Just Be Nice Project would like to welcome Victoria Polytechnic to the team!
Education and educational institutions play such an integral role in leveling the playing field of opportunity for people who otherwise wouldn't have it. The TAFE system in Australia has been plagued by exploitation, unscrupulous operators and even sub-standard delivery. TAFE SA recently had to suspend 14 of 16 courses reviewed due to poor performance.
Working with lower socio-economic groups and individuals who need flexible blended delivery education, workplace experience and skills and have not finished year 12 of high school, TAFE has the potential to fill the gap between formal education, workplace readiness and employment.
With the relaunch of the amazing hospitality facility at Vic Polytechnic in Footscray, the Just Be Nice Project is bringing together the expectations of the hospitality industry for the skills required for employment, the flexibility offered by the team at Vic Polytechnic and the needs of individuals who are seeking gainful employment.
Led by Shawn and Danette, the Vic Polytechnic Hospitality team is working to provide the gold standard of pathways to individuals in need of employment and hospitality skills. Providing the Just Be Nice Project the flexibility to bring together the needs of employers and individuals to deliver the right kind of training, in the right order for maximum employability as early as possible. We are so appreciative of the opportunity to change curriculum in order to meet the needs across the board of every stakeholder and deliver the best results all around. Keeping everyone doing what they are good at, in order to have the most impact possible.
A great asset to the Just Be Nice Project team, Victoria Polytechnic has fantastic facilities, including three state-of-the-art commercial kitchens with:
The latest cooking equipment
Two demonstration kitchens
A training bar
A 150 seat training restaurant, VenU, which was awarded best training restaurant in Victoria at the Restaurant and Catering awards.
We look forward to keeping everyone up to date with our developments in Melbourne's West with our hospitality and training partners, working towards employed, housed and happy individuals.
If you or someone you know is looking to do some good, have an impact and Just Be Nice.... Share this around and get in touch!
Today we are pleased to hear the latest Podcast from Purposeful featuring Just Be Nice Project founder Josh Reid Jones.
It was a pleasure to be interviewed by Mike and discuss impact, social responsibility and being nice!
Listen below or follow the iTunes link - apple.co/2lhU5st
Like, Listen and share it around!
Collaboration: the action of working with someone to produce something.
At the Just Be Nice Project collaboration isn't simply an aim, its a method. Helping people, help people.
It was our pleasure to assist with the Little Dreamers Australian Gala in August, with Just Be Nice Project Founder Josh taking on the role of MC for the evening. We are thrilled to have been a small part of an evening that raised $26,000 for the support of young carers and special siblings in Australia.
For more information on Little Dreamers, feel free to check them out HERE.
If you, or your organisation is looking for ways to Just Be Nice, get in touch! We'd love to work with you!
Everywhere we look, we are being asked to transact. Social media has become a wasteland of advertising, product placements and sponsored posts. To the left and to the right we are being sold solutions, avenues to avoid discomfort, things we can purchase to fulfil our dreams.
Online even seemingly social interactions are actually transactions. What you ‘like’, what you watch, the filters you use on your photos.. They’re all used to create profiles of you to target sellers to you and your interests, encouraging you to make quick purchasing decisions. Your interactions are transactions to be bought and sold between various agencies, platforms and businesses vying for your attention.
It is little wonder then, that over time even altruism, selfless concern for the well-being of others, has become an area of our lives that is predominated by transactions.
Work hard, buy things and while you’re at it, buy some good will. Buy some character credits. Buy a good feeling for yourself. Buy something that you can tell your friends you bought that isn’t just the newest bag or car.
We don’t tend to call it buying when it comes to altruism, we call it donating, but it is effectively the same thing.
Isn’t donating to worthy causes a good thing? Yes it is, and No, it isn’t. Here are a few reasons to explain…
Firstly, donating to a good cause is a common selling point among non-profits and transactional altruists. Unfortunately donating to a good, or worthy cause, doesn’t have any relation to whether you are donating to a good or effective organisation or solution.
Most non-profit organisations have the dubious distinction of receiving funding from a source other than the end user, unlike businesses. When you are getting paid by people who aren’t using or receiving your service, the function of fundraising moves from doing an awesome job of helping people, to, doing an awesome job of helping people feel like they’re helping people.
Marketers instead of practitioners. Campaigns that are focused on making people feel good before focusing on doing good. Short attention spans in the marketplace for understanding have created an environment where many people’s comprehension of disadvantage and helping people in need is lacking.
If we were to look at charitable donations as investments, we would be looking at two kinds of returns.
Not every non-profit operates in this way, in-fact in the education and healthcare spaces, where the end-user is more often responsible for funding, we find more time spent on studying efficacy and improving services than in other kinds of non-profit organisations.
Instead of working to improve the populations’ holistic understanding of disadvantage, we are constantly sold sound bites of very visible disadvantage. Promotions and shows that focus on rough sleeping homelessness, 30 second “Stories” before anyone competes on anything, from X-Factor, Aus Idol to Australian Ninja Warrior. We are being told constantly that stories of disadvantage and inequality of opportunity can be understood with 30 seconds, a montage and some sad music. We are regularly being encouraged to pay attention to the very visible disadvantage that we can easily identify, without being encouraged to understand the pervasive invisible disadvantage that goes on around us every day.
Accompanying each one of these bite sized samples of difficulty is a plea to do things that are either really easy, or things you probably want to do anyway, because they are easy sells. Click to donate, send in money, SMS to donate, run this fun run, go to this dinner, drink at this party or take a selfie and use this hashtag. All things that we would ordinarily do anyway, so popping a charitable spin on it encourages more transactions and allows you to combine what you would do with something you’d like to do.
Now, at the Just Be Nice Project we don’t have a problem with these things being catalysts for change, but when the most common catalysts for change are transactional rather than based on real understanding, we are only deepening our inefficiencies and making it harder to really help people, help people.
Just Be Nice
A collection of articles relevant to pursuing the effective execution of altruism in the search for equality of opportunity.