Dear President Trump,
Many moons ago I told you that I programmed my phone so that it plays chimes three times a day that roughly approximate the Muslim prayer times (except for the first thing in the morning and the last one at night since I do my loving-kindness prayers for us all at those times of the day). I call them my “be nice” chimes. They go off even when my phone is on silent so sometimes they are a little hard to take, but I love them. I need them.
Last night at about 10:32 the “be nice” chime on my phone went off. At first I was confused and thought I must be hearing things because the last such chime happens at 9pm every night. I first went to the top of the stairs to make sure I was actually hearing something over the tooth brushing noises. I was, so then I had to spit and double-check the time since perhaps I was mistaken and it was really much earlier than I thought. It wasn’t, so finally I played the evening over in my head to make sure that there had indeed already been a 9pm chime and it wasn’t happening late for some reason. When I thought about it, I realized there really had already been a 9pm chime. After the spit and rinse ritual I trooped downstairs where my phone was charging, hit the “stop” (not the “snooze”) icon, and the “be nice” chime quieted. I then went on to bed figuring it was a weird fluky thing and that was that.
But nope. At church this morning at about 10:20am it went off again. The regularly scheduled “be nice” reminders are set for 12:20pm, 4pm, and as previously mentioned, 9pm, so chimes at 10:20am and 10:32pm were way strange occurrences. We were supposed to be back in our choir seats at 10:23am (ish) and so I only had a couple of minutes to go into the clock part of my phone to delete those errant reminders. What I found when I opened the program was that there were something like 20 newly installed “be nice” reminders, complete with snooze options (which I’m pretty sure have to be set up). One was that p.m. time from last night, but the other 19 were 3 to 5 of the same a.m. times between 10:20 and 10:35. Weird.
I have no earthly idea how they all got loaded into my phone. I didn’t add them and I can’t imagine anyone else bothering to add them either. Surely iPhones can’t self-populate alarms, so seriously, I don’t know how they got there. It will likely remain a mystery, but I do kind of like the idea that twice in the last 12 hours I got reminded to be nice completely off the schedule I’d made for myself, which is really how it should be (though I do plan to keep the reminders because as noted above, I need them).
I know this is a random topic to write to you about, but I kind of love that my phone got the notion to inundate me with reminders to be nice, to be kind. Of course I don’t know if it’ll ever do it again, but I think I hope so (just not in the middle of the night, please). I do, on the other hand, know that I wish there was some magic that would reprogram your phone so it would help you be nicer too, but you and I both know we are all SOL on that one.
May we all be safe to be nice.
May we be willing to make space for kindness.
May we know that to be genuinely nice is to be strong and healthy.
May we value kindness and caring, niceness, in our leaders.