The Everybody Nice List.

Every time I open the fridge, this is my view.

It started as a guide, some rules to help my roommate manage his outbursts.

He’s fun to be around. He’s bright, energetic and incredibly curious. His letters and counting are ahead of the curve. And his love of trucks make him a future heavy equipment expert.

But sometimes he can be a pill.

He’s filled with Big-Big Feelings in a Big-Big World. Reacting intensely with the same Big Emotions and outbursts.

Sometimes it’s only minutes. And sometimes it’s an hour-long battle for ‘Ice cream for dinner AND ice cream for dessert?’

It’s part of the process and part of his growth. Continually trying to find his place in an ever changing world.

But he’s only 3 and still has lots to learn.

So we came up with a list to help guide him. Best practices on how to communicate better. A set of rules on how we could live better together under one roof.

1. No Yelling
2. Talk Nice
3. Do Nice Things
4. Ask To Help
5. Have a Nice Time

It’s funny though, the more I repeat it, and the more he repeats it back, I realize it’s not just for him.

It’s for me too… I raise my voice. I get upset. I react when I should reflect. I’m struggling to understand my place in this changing world.

Maybe everybody needs ‘The Everybody Nice List’.

▶ Maybe if it was on everyone’s refrigerator — That kid at the beach wouldn’t have told my 1/2 Asian, 3 year old son he ‘Has ugly eyes.’ or that he’s ‘Disgusting’.

▶ Maybe if every Politician said a similar mantra before entering parliament — Our leaders’ conversations would be less about taking cheap shots and more giving productively towards Canada’s future.

▶ Maybe every Social Media platform should have an Everybody Nice List on login – The division between us, the loneliness epidemic, and young kids killing themselves would be reduced.

Maybe we don’t need better ways of communication — maybe we just need to communicate better.

We all need to get back to the basics…

Starting with how we treat each other in this busy, messy, f’d up world.

Starting with our words.




Hey, I’m Keith, a Chief Creative Officer, TEDx speaker, and co-founder of a charity called Brandvan. After two decades of building some of Canada’s biggest brands, I started & Good Company, an idea design consultancy that helps people and the planet. I live with my amazing partner Vickie and our two sons in a century-old octagon house on a farm in Niagara. 

In the past, I’ve helped Rogers with a $35M rebrand; supported the NHL with a $6B / 12-year broadcast deal; launched professional sports teams like the Toronto Football Club; and designed the interior graphics and way-finding for 3M square feet of office space — the largest office transformation program in Canadian history.

To learn more about how brand and innovation design can help your organization, email me at