There’s something about nice people, isn’t there?
Everyone likes them, and it’s no wonder; they’re just, well, nice. I guess this isn’t exactly rocket science.
Being around a nice person brings out your own niceness… and makes you feel better about yourself. Who doesn’t like to feel better about themselves?
But I’m realizing tonight, upon reflection of some of my not-so-very-nice interactions today, that there’s a difference between niceness and kindness.
Niceness is contingent upon the Law of Reciprocity. That is, I’m nice as long as you’re nice. Quid pro Quo, all is well, and all that there. When you stop being nice, though, all bets are off. I’m no longer legally obligated to maintain the niceness, and the fangs can justifiably come out. And then, watch out!
Yep, Frank Burns nailed it: “It’s nice to be nice… to the nice.”
Now kindness, on the other hand… well that’s a different animal altogether. Kindness isn’t contingent, that is, it doesn’t need to feed off of someone else’s kindness to maintain itself. It comes from somewhere else. A fruit of the Spirit, I believe they call it.
And the thing is, I’m thinking about all this tonight because I’m coming to the decidedly uncomfortable conclusion that I’m nicer than I am kind.
Oh, I can be real nice. Sweet as pecan pie… until I get a little pushback. Then I’m not so nice to be around. I think they have another word for it.
But I know the kindness is there… I just don’t always remember to access it. And I would like to remember to do that more.
Because I need more than niceness in my life. I need kindness. And if I need it, I’m guessing I’m not the only one.
How about you?