Thoughts of a fruitcake: Why can’t we all play nice - by Carolyn Aldis

Politics: Is it nothing more than grown men reduced to name calling?
Politics: Is it nothing more than grown men reduced to name calling?

So, we live in the same old ever changing world. Take the voting for air strikes. Whatever your view, if you are a certain age you will feel you’ve heard it before.

People running around city centres, shouting extremist messages and waving weapons around: sound familiar? Just change the names and flags.

As I read the news, I fight the pressure of being overwhelmed. I find myself wondering why we can’t all just “Play Nice?” It seemed so simple as a kid when my brothers and I faced my mum’s grimaced face and pointing finger insisting, instructing, pleading with us to ... “Play nice”.

When MPs disagreed with each other this week on the subject of air strikes, those against it were called “terrorist sympathisers”... grown men reduced to name-calling.

Why can’t we Play Nice? Why can’t we get along in the playground? I don’t understand why anyone would want to kick a child or push them over. But that is apparently how some kids want to play and if they don’t learn at a young age that behaviour like that is wrong, it doesn’t “kick in” (no pun intended) when they are adults...bullying just takes on another form.

You there with the warped ideology! Play Nice. You, yes you, with the bad attitude to your work colleagues: Play Nice. You, yes you, who thinks it’s ok to overtake and nearly cause another pile up in your rear view mirror: Play Nice. And yes, I can see you tapping your foot, you little queue pusher: Play Nice. And as for you, you my so-called friend who nicks my boyfriend at the school disco: Play Nice.

Why can’t the man who brings his big dog and ignores the “No dogs on the beach” sign just Play Nice? Why do some people think it’s ok to leave their unwanted sofa on the A16? Why do the laws of our country seem to not apply to some people? Play Nice.

The principles of playing nice are simple:

Think before you act.

Put others first.

Respect each others space.

Agree to disagree.

The benefits of playing nice are clear: I’m happy, you’re happy, we’re all happy. I respect you. You respect me. These are the rules in Playnice Land, the same rules of the ball pit: enjoy yourself, apologise when you hurt someone. Play Nice. Oh, and wear socks is the other one, but that’s a basic when we’re out and about.

In other news, 200 miles from us water falls, rivers rise, power is cut: a seasonal occurrence here in the UK. We can still Play Nice: professionals do their job with a smile; neighbours help each. Playing nice works. Let’s keep on doing it where we can and perhaps all those others who have yet to discover the basic rules of humanity will want to join in.

Here’s some tips taken from my entirely invented “International Play Nice Federation”:

Think: would I like that done to me?

Think: do I really want to behave like that?

Think: what would my mum say if she found out?

Imagine how nice the world could be…