Enjoy the Island of Bend

The bumper sticker commands, ‘Be Nice, You’re in Bend.’

Let’s face it, though. It really is very important to be nice when you’re in Bend—or Central Oregon in general. Because we’re basically on an island of sorts, especially in winter. If you think about it, we’re surrounded on three sides by desert and on the fourth by a towering mountain range. We have six months of winter to contend with and not a lot of ways off the island. 

We’re kind of stuck with each other. Nice is a necessity.

Yet, we’d much rather have ‘be nice’ as a choice than an edict. 

If we were to compare Bend to the island of Maui for example—which, admittedly, is surrounded by a nice warm ocean—we’d be similar. The Hawaiian Island and Oregon Mountain Town each have somewhere in the mid 100,000’s of population, and getting supplies here can be a logistical challenge. Both places tout nature and sporting opportunities. Housing is expensive and jobs don’t necessarily pay much. Yet, folks flock to both destinations in droves.

On an island you have to get along. It’s just the way it is. 

And let’s remember what brought us here in the first place; the beauty, the people, the notable positive difference in consideration of our fellow humans and favored animals.

Hawaiian Islands people have it figured out. They have their own language. They say “mahalo” (thanks), ‘ohana’ (family), ‘aloha’ (all sorts of wonderful stuff), and ‘pono’ (representing harmony, righteousness, excellence, balance). It’s really effortless to be over the top amazing to one another when you can talk like that.

Perhaps a more clear and easy path to niceness lies in pretending it’s warm and ocean breezes are wafting across our faces and humidity is making it much easier on our nasal passages. Let’s just BE HAWAIIAN!

Seems like a good idea in the middle of winter, huh?