Some more ways to be nice…


A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about being nice. Over the weekend, I came up with some additional ways for kindness to be a ministry.

Shopping Cart1. Putting your shopping cart in the shopping cart stall before driving off. There are few things that are more annoying to me than pulling up to a parking spot at my local grocer only to discover that a shopping cart has been left in the spot, making parking difficult. Even if the abandoned cart doesn’t affect my park, it still bothers me to see them left there.

I don’t have any scientific evidence, but I can assume, based on the frequency of seeing the unstalled carts, that Christians are just as guilty of this behavior. Look, I know, going grocery shopping can be stressful and maybe even exhausting. But how big of a deal is to walk 30 feet and deposit your cart? If you’re wearing a Christian t-shirt or have a Jesus fish on your car and you leave a cart, you may as well deny Jesus right then and there for the poor parking lot attendants.

Movie Trash2. Throwing away your trash at the end of your movie. Yesterday, at Stardust, a couple in front of us left their trash (which contained brought-in food in the form of a Sprite can and foreign candy) in the floor, causing some people on their row to trip on their way out. I know, I know, there are people who are “paid to clean up the theaters,” but I don’t think that gives us the privilege to leave our movie-viewing area a wreck. I think we should carry our gallon Coke containers and lampshade-sized buckets of popcorn to the trashcans ourselves and let the cleaner-uppers sweepvac up our popcorn remnants and dropped Nerds.

Hostess3. Don’t annoy the hostesses at the restaurant. This area is perhaps more personal than the first two — I used to be a host, so I know what this is like. It’s a busy night, you’ve got as many people on the wait list as you do in your dining area. As you’re frantically trying to balance the call-in orders, clearing the tables and updating your pager list, there are few things as frustrating as someone walking up to your desk and saying, “I see two tables open, why can’t we sit there?” Or, as you’re taking a person to a table and they say, “Oh, can we have a booth instead,” usually in a fakely sweet voice with a slightly embarrassed, but not really, smile. But worst of all is when someone gets frustrated or annoyed with you, the lowly host, because of a long wait, poor service or a perceived seating discrepancy.

Hosts get paid slightly above minimum wage, don’t run the kitchen and are more than likely in high school or not far removed. What good does it do to get angry or annoyed with them? What good does it do to “press your case” for a quicker or better table? None, none at all. So stop. Particularly stop when you’re wearing a shirt that says “To know Jesus and to make Him known.”

So, do you have any Labor Day weekend or recent experiences that fuel some “nice” ministry ideas? Share them here!


  1. September 4, 2007 at 8:03 pm — Reply

    I like these ideas. I must admit that I have been guilty of both 1 & 2. I’d like to add another one. I think that it is nice to be a considerate & selfless driver. Riding people’s tails & refusing to allow people into your lane are just selfish.

  2. Tim D.
    September 5, 2007 at 7:56 am — Reply

    I love this post. My dad is the best about all three of these. He mandates that we treat waitors and waitresses and hostesses better than we treat our selves. But I think he only puts the cart away because he likes to speed it up and ride it like a skateboard into the corral.

  3. Linda G.
    September 6, 2007 at 3:15 pm — Reply

    All very good ideas. However, I want to comment that grace should be given to mothers of babies and small children on the shopping cart issue, especially in bad weather. I know that when my kids were little, I didn’t want to traipse to the shopping cart corral with them, nor was I comfortable with putting them in the car alone, even for a moment. Unless I had another adult with me (rare), I would try to leave the cart in such a way that it would not block any spaces.

    As for other “nice” ministries: always say thank you to service personnel; in SRO situations, give up a seat to an elderly person or a mother with a baby; be aware of other people in the grocery aisles (i.e. don’t block people or merchandise).

    It doesn’t take much more effort to be courteous than to be rude or thoughtless. 🙂

  4. September 7, 2007 at 5:13 am — Reply

    […] The Todd Blog — Some More Ways to Be Nice […]

  5. Sam's Dad
    September 7, 2007 at 5:25 pm — Reply

    Speaking of shopping carts — here’s an idea. Always take a shopping cart from the parking lot into the store with you.

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Some more ways to be nice…