Written by Kat Mason
Our father, George Mason, was a very fun loving and mischievous man who loved to spend his free time spreading the Just Be Nice message to everyone he met. I can safely say that he embarrassed my sister and I on more than one occasion – and these are the memories that I have come to cherish in my adult life.
One of his most favorite things to do was to hand out business cards that simply said “Just Be Nice” on one side and were blank on the other side. He would hand them out to homeless people paired with some spare change. He would leave them on tables for tired waitresses to find hoping to cause a spontaneous smile and hopefully an increase in their tips. He would leave them on abandoned park benches. And, as I found out for myself, he would leave them in grocery stores where I happened to shop.
I will never forget the time many years ago that he came to visit me in Chicago and kindly took me to Trader Joe’s for a much needed refrigerator refill. A couple of days after he went back home to Tampa, I realized that we had forgotten to buy milk. So I headed back to the grocery store.
While standing in the checkout lane with my prize, my eyes settled on something small and red sitting with the gum packets. It took me just a moment, but I recognized my father’s work. It was a Just Be Nice card. For that one moment it was a message meant just for me. And it made a difference in my day.
It reminded me to pass on the kindness that I wanted to see in the world. It made me realize the effect that my father was having on the people that found these little cards that he loved to leave around. I was slowly realizing that it wasn’t just a random hobby; it was his way to change the world one card at a time.