On Sunday I was reading Earl Dizon’s, The Chronicles of a Children’s Book Writer, post. Earl was discussing the difference between being a nice person and a kind person. He felt as though he was a very nice person and does very many nice things for other people and organizations but that he wasn’t truly kind.
Earl took his individual thoughts and extrapolated them to the world in light of all the horrible bombings and killings and felt that the citizens of our planet lacked kindness for each other.
This post, more than any other that I have read lately, gave me pause to think. My mind has been all over the map about this idea of being a nice person versus a kind person.
After I read Earl’s post I read an article in Meditation Magazine by Kevin Ellerton that totally shot holes in my definition of what a nice person is:
The definition of nice is someone who is pleasant or agreeable or something that is in good condition and that is pleasing. An example of nice is a description for a person who is friendly and who everyone likes.
According to this article the nice person is focused on himself – he does nice things in order to be perceived by others and himself as a “nice” person.
THE DEFINITION OF A KIND PERSON IS HAVING OR SHOWING A TENDER AND CONSIDERATE AND HELPFUL NATURE; USED ESPECIALLY OF PERSONS AND THEIR BEHAVIOR, CHARACTERIZED BY MERCY AND COMPASSION.
Again according to this article a kind person is focused on others – all he wants is to relieve the suffering of the living creature in front of him.
One of the conclusions I came to after doing all this reading and thinking is that kindness is niceness on steroids. It springs from the same well and is activated by need in a time of suffering. I don’t agree with the idea of being nice as being shallow. I am thinking of kindness as a muscle. By daily reputations of niceness, you will build that muscle. So, when you are called upon to act, your kindness muscles are very strong with the muscle memory of being worked daily by niceness reps and do not tire from acting kindly.
Earl is starting a kindness project. If you are interested in learning more about it you can reach him at earldizon [at] gmail [dot] com or The Chronicles Of A Children’s Book Writer – Earl Dizon.
Wishing your days are filled with niceness and kindness,