Like most of the important lessons in my life, the I’ve carried around the Nice Lesson for years. What is the Nice Lesson? To me, it’s how to balance one’s personal need to be right with the moral and social imperative that human beings treat each other with kindness. I’ve lived on both ends of the spectrum — the need to be right fits in nicely with my perfectionism, but always being nice plays right into my abhorrence of confrontation. I think my struggle to live in a balance with the two is why I am so sensitive to something that’s probably not even a thing for most people.
Right off, though, I’ve got to say that I don’t think that a person can’t be nice AND right. I think this is an issue of the Golden Rule.
The Golden Rule
We recently held national elections, and I’m not even going to pretend that the current political climate didn’t affect me deeply. Full disclosure: My political convictions range all over, but socially I’m progressive. This year I’ve been called “unpatriotic,” “baby killer,” “socialist,” “retarded,” and plenty of other hurtful, thoughtless things. I’m none of those things. I am not ANY of those things.
This election, however, I had to go with the Golden Rule. I was raised on the teachings of Jesus and the importance of thinking critically and acting accordingly. Instilled in me is a deep patriotism. As a result, I vote with my conscience. I vote the Golden Rule.
Right vs. Kind
Unrelated to my personal election season experiences is the another bit of the Golden Rule. I witnessed a grown man yell at a 16-year-old girl about whether her mobile devise had an app on it or not. I experienced a first-hand scream-down over a movie time.
Really, dudes?! Why is your need to be right more important than the imperative to be kind? To be loving? To reassure people you love?!