Recently, my son started preschool. He’s three and a half and we decided that it would be a good idea to acclimate him a little bit to the world he will eventually encounter when he gets to school. So two days a week my miniature human goes to school and learns about rules and line-ups and circle time. And while he’s been learning all about everything, I’m learning all about germs.

Since he’s been at school, about four months, we’ve had roughly seven days where no one in the entire household has been sick. During our last bout with the flu, the whole family was sick. A lovely mother who lives just down the road, whom I talk with quite a bit on social media and spend a lot of time at the park with brought us a huge pot of lentil soup because that’s what happens when you’re nice to people; they make you soup.

Ok, maybe they won’t always make you soup, but the general rule is that when you’re nice to people, they’re nice back to you. In my last corporate job, I got called a brown-noser more than once. The suggestion was that I was being nice to the boss when he visited so that I could get something out of it. That’s not entirely true. I’m never purposefully nice to people JUST so that I get something from them. But I’m aware of the fact that when you’re nice to people, they tend to be nice back to you.

It’s not about brown-nosing. It’s about being a human. If you’re going to be a person on this planet, you’re going to have to interact with other human beings and you have the choice of either being a genuinely nice person that people like being around or being a hermit and living in a van down by the river. I tend to opt for the first option.

What’s the point of all this? This post isn’t “5 Ways to Get Your Neighbours to Make You Soup”. This post is about the idea that no man or woman is an island. There’s going to come a time when you’re going to need people. The question is, how hard are you going to have to work to get what you need from them. Put in the groundwork. Start now. Smile. Say hello. Thank people. Message people for no reason other than to say hello and ask how they’re doing. Pay attention. Listen. You’ll be surprised. You might even get some soup out of it.

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