June 1 provides the ultimate opportunity to brighten others’ days: National Say Something Nice Day.
The holiday’s origins began in Charleston, S.C., and its creators said they were inspired by Mitchell Carnell’s book, Say Something Nice - Be a Lifter @ Work. In 2006, the holiday became officially recognized in the state, and later, the whole country.
Through the help of comedian Stephen Colbert, National Say Something Nice Day became a worldwide phenomenon in 2017 after Colbert posted a compilation video to YouTube of all the celebrity guests he himself had complimented, along with their compliments about his late night talk show.
Now, the purpose of National Say Something Nice Day is to spread positivity, happiness and joy by being kind to others. Its goal is to encourage everyone to take the time to appreciate those around them, and this is easy to do so.
There’s many ways to celebrate this day, including saying something nice to every person one encounters, seeing past old grudges or leaving a note or small gift for a family member, friend or partner.
National Say Something Nice Day also brings awareness to mental health, asking that people be kind to those who are struggling by offering compliments and affirmations. For example, saying “you are enough” to someone can go a long way.
In honor of National Say Something Nice Day, Ohio University students and staff were eager to celebrate, giving shoutouts to the people they appreciate.
“My friend Jocelyn Wooten, she’s so sweet,” Maegen Bishop, a sophomore studying wildlife and conservation, said. “I love her.”
Julia Weber, a sophomore studying journalism, also recognized her fellow classmates and her director of studies, Victoria LaPoe.
“I would like to say something nice to my HTC (Honors Tutorial College) journalism peers as well as our fantastic director of studies, Dr. LaPoe,” Weber said in an email. “I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to work alongside such talented and passionate journalists.”
Donal Skinner, dean of HTC, said there were many people he wished to acknowledge. He specifically complimented the skills of Chris Lewis, director of the office of nationally competitive awards on campus.
“Dr. Lewis always goes to the ends of the earth to help students create applications that represent their best selves,” Skinner said in an email. “He is one of the most selfless people that I know, always has a creative idea or solution to a problem, is a wonderful team player, and is single handedly responsible for why so many of our amazing OHIO students are competitive for national awards, such as the Fulbright.”
Many from OU didn’t even know of the holiday, but think its overall purpose provides an example of how to treat others.
“I didn't know what it was, but I think it's nice,” Bishop said. “Especially if people are writing about it. I think it's nice to see.”
Weber also liked the concept of National Say Something Nice Day.
“I love that it provides an outlet to practice gratitude and kindness towards others,” Weber said in an email. “I think that it is a great way to uplift others and spread positivity.”