Do We Want to Be Nice?

by Sheila on June 28, 2011

There is this idea that nice is…well nice.

What is nice?

Then there’s this thing called kind.

What is kind?

What is the distinction?

When I was in a leadership retreat, I friend, Jill,  told the group that she was not “nice” but she was “kind.”  This was in a context of a ropes course event which was a struggle for many both physically and emotionally.

Jill later explained that althought some thought she was not “nice,” she felt she was being kind.  We were in the midst of some physical and emotional stuff and kindness was needed.  I found this resonated with me completely.  Yet, I really had no clue how to  describe why.

I contemplated this later because I knew what she was saying yet I didn’t have the words.

I found this:

“Nice is about what the other person is thinking and feeling–it’s their perception of the situation. Kind is about what you choose to do and why. When you want to be nice it’s because you want to please the other person; you want everyone to be happy. When you want to be kind it’s because you want to do what is right regardless of how other people feel about it. Nice is permissive. Kind is grace.

Nice manipulates. Kindness trains.”

A friend and colleague of mine, Jim Smith,  said this to to me and I love  it:

An acrocnym for Nice:

Inside of me
Enough to tell you the Truth

So no more nice.  I discovered that I have been being “nice” for far to long and in too many instances.  This has not served anyone including myself.

One must be kind in order to tell the truth to oneself and others.  Especially when we  do not want to hear it.

Kindness requires integrity.




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