I am not a “nice” person. Deep down I’m rather miserable — prone to fits of depression and bone-aching weariness. Coming to me for “warm-fuzzies” is not a good idea. I’m not even good at propping up my own ego, much less someone else’s.
But I do try to be kind. I try to build people up and help them grow to be the people they are called to become. In my experience nice is often selfishness in disguise. People smile and offer platitudes in order to get something for themselves. Kindness is focused on another person’s humanity.
We have a whole lot of nice in the world, and much of it’s got big pointy teeth 1.
We also have a profound lack of kindness. I think it’that’s because kindness looks like it commits the greatest sin of all in the success-dominated idolatry of our culture. Kindness looks weak. And it looks weak because kindness works to disarm animosity.
Rather like a cross.
- Look at the bones! ↩