Good Things Come From Soft Sweatshirts

This is a special guest post by Betty Long, RN, MHA, President of Guardian Nurses Healthcare Advocates. We love to share stories about what happens when people put the Choose To Be Nice message in action. You can share your stories on our Choose To Be Nice Moments page or send in a guest post. Your story can inspire and make a difference. 


Betty Long (left) and Lo-Raine, a friendship that started with Choose To Be Nice.

It’s not every day that a complete stranger buys me a comfy sweatshirt so when it happens, I take note!

In October, while attending the Pennsylvania Women’s Conference, the first booth I visited that morning was the Choose To Be Nice booth and was happy to learn about the creation of the ‘movement’ and of Dina Creiger’s passion for her organization’s mission.  We laughed at how now, more than ever, it felt like people needed to choose to be nice.

Before I headed out of the conference, I stopped by the booth again.  As I stood in front of sweatshirts and tee-shirts emblazoned with the Choose To Be Nice message, I decided I would buy a sweatshirt.  Right next to me was another woman, who upon hearing that I was going to buy a sweatshirt, jokingly ‘consulted’ with me about what color and what size I should get.  We laughed together and she gestured to her co-workers watching us have fun with our teasing.

Not a minute later, she offered Dina her credit card and said, “I’m buying her sweatshirt for her.” I said, “Thank you, but she already has my credit card.” But my new friend was not to be denied and said, “That’s fine but I want to buy you that sweatshirt.  I’m choosing to be nice.”  (She forgot the generous part).  Having been in situations when you know it’s better to just acquiesce, I graciously said, “Well, that is very generous of you, thank you.  No stranger has ever bought me a sweatshirt but I guess that’s what choosing to be nice is all about.”

I walked over to her two colleagues and introduced myself, offered my business card and said, ‘Please if I can do anything for your friend, please reach out to me. She just bought me a sweatshirt.”  Their reply?  “Oh, that’s Lo-Raine, she’s always doing stuff like that.”

Minutes later, Lo-Raine walked over and joined our conversation and she and I got into a raucous exchange that had everyone around us, including her co-workers, laughing.  One woman said, “You two are hilarious together” and I said, “I just met her!”

Lo-Raine and I connected on LinkedIn and we have remained in touch with each other over the last month.  Recently I invited her to the Guardian Nurses’ 13thAnniversary Party and she happily accepted.

I have always appreciated when life offers me serendipitous moments.  Besides now having a wonderful sweatshirt with an important message that I wear proudly, meeting Lo-Raine certainly picked up my spirits that day.  Our meeting, and burgeoning friendship, proved to me, once again, that good things do happen if you choose to be nice!