Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Where Does Being Nice Get You?

"Nice" is basically an insult these days. I mean, I think so. I take it as "in lieu of a real compliment:" It's the backside of a silver spoon or a perfectly triangle slice of yellow cake.

And most of us at one point (or many) times in our lives have asked "Where will being nice get me for real?" Indeed, there are times we feel we cannot be heard if we're nice, successful if we're nice, loved if we're nice.

When you're an educator, and a student meets with you, and the student is nice, it's really hard not to help her succeed in the class. I wouldn't act immorally and pass a failing kid or offer extra help to some and not all, but I am hard-pressed to find flaw in a nice student.

When I worked at at Marble Slab, I remember it was literally as simple as Please and Thank You if I was going to help a customer out of a credit card jam, getting a discount, putting a cherry on top. Just being nice, the whole world opened up for those people.

In rehearsal this evening we discussed the US involvement with Pakistan. Complicated to say the least. And Jersey said, "It's so stupid. It's like paying a schoolyard bully not to beat you up, but, meanwhile, you're a six-foot juicehead!" Point taken. But, part of it is about...niceness. There's a niceness.

Nice flowers at a nice wedding in 2010.

Seriously consider what could have been avoided in the history of crime, violence, and hatred if everyone were nice. The immediate reaction is to say, "No, no. The nice guys would just get taken advantage of." But would they? If EVERYONE was nice. If everyone were nice, wouldn't domination seem a hassle?

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