January 13: You know what? Sometimes people do the best they can, and they still get kicked in the teeth. They try really hard to do the right thing. They make plans based on realistic expectations. They are responsible. Sometimes it is their kindness to others that gets them in trouble. Rather than hoard their money, they give some away. Rather than judge others and establish clear enemies, they are open and deal with the imperfections of their friends. They get stressed,  more stressed than someone irresponsible, someone who just expects everything to be OK, more stressed than the person to whom enemies are well-defined.

Faced with more adversity than they deserve, they show grace and patience and kindness. Me? I listen to them — even when I really want to go crash on the couch in a nice Nyquil cloud. It’s the kind of thing that can sometimes feel like a conscious act of niceness. At first. Look at me taking time from my whining to listen to someone with some real problems. But within minutes, I recognize how goodness works.

Goodness isn’t consciously trying to do something nice each day. It’s doing something nice without thinking about it. It’s being nice to someone who is being mean to you. It’s being honest when it might be more expedient to lie. It’s not falling into the cynicism that says you might as well quit trying to do the right thing because it just doesn’t pay and you think it’s time you got paid, goddammit! And these people — these people who are nice because it’s who they are — they blast away my cynicism and give me something to aspire to.

Today I noticed that sort of niceness several times. It doesn’t make me nice that I noticed, but it did suit my goals of being less cynical.

Category: Niceness
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Cindie Geddes

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