Thursday, July 24, 2014
There's nothing wrong with nice
Whatever happened to niceness?
To being considerate to your fellow human beings?
I'm the first to admit I'm naive and old-fashioned, but for 53.5 years I've gotten by on the notion that you should treat others like you want to be treated, and generally speaking, I have had a peaceful, productive, happy life. I'm not all crazy about being nice 24/7, and have been known to lose my cool in less than nice ways. Not proud of it, but I'm human, and shite happens. But I do try. I want people to say of me, "Oh that Cathy, she's a pretty nice person," and if that appears on my tombstone, hey, I'll be smiling six feet under.
Lately, though, I've come in contact with internet folks who don't value "nice" the way I do. In fact, I am absolutely gobsmacked at the mean-spirited name-calling and generalizing that has pitted gender against gender, race against race, religion against religion. It just seems everywhere I turn, I see little but venom and hate.
Screaming epithets at each other is like throwing kerosene on a campfire (although, admittedly, sometimes it feels really good to spout off). Not wanting to get burned, and realizing the futility of name-calling, I would like to try to ice these ongoing battles with niceness. Again, maybe I'm naive, but it's hard to be mean to someone who is being nice to you.
Maybe that's the answer to the troubles of this world. Niceness. Saying I'm sorry when it's needed, or excuse me when you bump into someone at the grocery store.
John Lennon used to say that love is the answer, but love isn't something you can make up out of whole cloth. Being nice, on the other hand, is easier than you might think.
Perhaps we should try it.