Are You Nice?
I AM NOT Santa Clause therefore I am not trying to update a secret list by creepily spying on you. That job has been subcontracted to the DHS. I am simply trying to answer the age-old question: What makes a person nice? My best answer is: A nice person sees himself as part of a bigger whole while the not nice person sees himself as a standalone entity.
If you are being helped by a very presentable lady who sold you a pair of shoes. Is she a nice person? You have no idea. She might be nice to you because there is a resource transaction happening in that interaction. If a young man opens the door for you at the mall is he a nice person? Once again you do not know. He might be doing it out of habit, out of social pressure, out of pretence.
Therefore the only way you can know for sure is in observing the long game. If you spend time with this person for an extended amount of time your own “Spidey Senses” will start to work. By the end of the interaction ask yourself this question: Does X act as if he is part of a whole or does he act as a lone wolf?
People can act nice, talk nice and even be nice, but they cannot fake their fundamental belief system. Being nice is not helping someone and hope one day the favour will be returned. Being nice is not act according to social norms that you were taught in school. Being nice is not being accommodating and work hard to please others.
Being nice is to act from deep within your soul and spirit. Imagine a volcano with lava spilling out from its mouth. That lava from the centre of earth. The volcano can be located at the north pole or way down on a tropical island. But when it spills out lava, it is the same melted iron of the earth core.
A nice person does not need to pretend to be nice because he see himself as an interconnected part of the whole of humanity. Other people around him are brothers and sisters. We all came from the same speck of dust and we will eventually return to specks of dust together. Because of this fundamental belief system, this person is going to give others the benefit of the doubt and help them to the best of his abilities. He is therefore a nice person.
A not so nice person may appear to be very friendly and helpful, but every act and interaction is an equation for him. He calculates and answers the number one question on his mind: What’s In It For Me? (WIIFM). If he cannot satisfy this question he will deem this transaction unworthy and unprofitable. He will find ways to back out of it.
Now I am not going to quote Buddha or slam the golden rule on anyone. Truth is, it shouldn’t even come to that. To comprehend the universal truth all you have to do is to look at a single flower. What does the flower do? It extracts water and nutrients from the earth while soaking up the sun. Its mission is to make seeds. To do this it gets help from bees. The bees come to help because the food the flower provides. The little flower is IN FACT a small part of a bigger ecosystem. Nothing or no one will change that.
Imagine if one day the flower says: “I am a flower and I will try to be the best flower ever all by myself. All other concerns are secondary.” The flower will try to extract all the water and nutrients from the earth. It will try to be five feet tall to block out the sun from reaching other plants. It will ensure it is the biggest flower in the yard, in the neighbourhood, in the city. It will try to attract hundreds of bees to help it cross-pollinate. Before giving out food it will ask each bee to sign deals and contracts. Before long, the earth around the flower is devoid of nutrients. Other plants die or move away. Bees like variety and efficiency, so they start going to other parts of the neighbourhood where there is lots of smaller flowers. Very quickly, the big flower will be the only plant in the middle of a desert-like yard. A strong storm will uproot it and that will be the end.
My point is, if you are a nice person. Keep up the good work. If you are not a nice person, it is never too late. I cannot tell you how to be nice, but start by seeing other people not as competitors for limited resources but as part of a big entity that you also belong to. This fundamental shift in paradigm will bring you happiness in the long run. It will bring you friends, satisfaction, bliss and prosperity. You don’t have to trust me but you should trust the little flower.
Yours thoughts welcome.