What exactly is “nice”?
In my quest to understand how to serve in this world I continually ask do I help others first or do I help create boundaries where I take care of my needs first? I wondered about the question in the context of “being nice” as we hear this so often – just be “nice”. What does that mean and how is it defined exactly?
What is “being nice”?
Nice is a word we often hear and refer to but I never really stopped to think of the what it means – at its core. The dictionary definition is pleasant, satisfactory, kind, good-natured. Satisfactory? So, to be nice is to be satisfactory? The definition of satisfactory is adequate…so if I am nice – I am adequate?
Is it really worth putting your own wishes on the back burner to be adequate? Hmmmmm.
I realize none of these actions or associations are easily changed in our minds but I always wonder about the value of being nice. I get being kind, giving to others in need or taking care of those who need help but I never fully understood being nice – just to be nice. Or worse, being nice for credit or to turn around and be un-nice at first opportunity.
As I struggle to understand if we are to live for ourselves or live for the greater good – and what the difference really means – I am trying to understand when I am supposed to stand up for myself and when I’m supposed to sacrifice my own feelings for the greater good – and be ok with it. I have come to understand this is going to take a while to unpack.
That leads me to the consistency of the act. To really lay claim to any act, I believe, you have to be consistent with it – for everyone and everything. You have to BE it, own it, and not do it for any reason other than it IS part of you. Same reason you wear the style of clothes that you wear and the same reason you laugh the way that you do, and at the things that you do. You don’t think about these things – you are these things. To claim to be nice you have inherently be nice…not because someone told you to, or because you are gaining, but because you ARE.
When we circle back to what you do for yourself and what you do for others, I don’t think “being nice” comes into the equation. You are nice, or you aren’t. That’s that.
Where the confusion comes in for me is if being nice is part of owning your truth and acting accordingly OR acting on behalf of the greater good and perhaps going against your own personal gain. If being nice is for personal gain then that, in my opinion, changes the definition as there is now an expected outcome as a result. In my opinion that changes from “being” to “doing” – and what is that?
This is to be continued, obviously.
Until next time – decide, commit and action your dreams to love your life.
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