Most people wouldn’t think twice about that question. Being nice in most people’s minds means that you smile and are kind to others. But what does being nice really mean?
According to Merriam-Webster, the word nice means, polite, kind, agreeable, pleasing, virtuous and respectable.
I have always set my default to assume that others I come in contact with are nice people. Generally, my assumption is correct. It is the rare time that my assumptions have proven to be wrong. So, I generally assume that people whom I meet or have direct contact are nice people. And since I am nice to them, I give them the benefit of the doubt that they are and will remain nice to me in return.
However, over the past year-and-a-half, in light of covid measures, and noticing how the state of fear that this pandemic has generated, I have have had to reevaluate my own ideas and perceptions about what it means to truly be nice.
Over the past year, people whom I thought were nice have turned into vicious, out-of-control tyrants consumed with fear, lashing out at anyone and everyone whom they perceive as a direct threat, with no basis in law or in reality.
People whom I thought were nice have suddenly fancied themselves as the medical experts, specifically with regard to the medical choices of others, demanding that others receive experimental injections and wear unhealthy and ineffective face coverings, despite having no formal medical training.
People whom I thought were nice don’t seem to be interested in seeking out or even listening to the viewpoints from doctors and scientists and medical experts from all backgrounds and walks of life who have years of expertise and have much to say with regard to our current state of affairs.
People whom I thought were nice don’t really care to listen to experts or to anyone other than those who confirm their narrow worldview that supports their own notion of self-importance with regard to the type of medical information they wish to consume.
Perhaps in a way, this pandemic has helped to bring to the surface the real motivations of others. It has shown to us that given the right conditions, some of us will default to fear and the attempt to control the lives and choices of others.
They will attempt to force, coerce, bribe, entice, mandate and otherwise demand that others bow and bend to their will. They will pretend to be medical experts, having listened to only a handful of people speaking on the topic, while ignoring thousands of other medical professionals who have a different or alternative viewpoint.
They will use their positions of leadership, whether they be with the government or local business or others, to bully others into submission.
Some have even gone so far as to physically constrain others and forcefully inject them against their will.
None of this fits the definition of nice. In fact, it is the opposite of nice, and has nothing whatsoever to do with being nice.
If you bully, force, constrain others, you are not nice. If you shame and guilt others for their choices, you are not nice. If you demand that others receive medical injections against their will and better judgment, you are not nice. If you withhold special privileges from others based on their choices, and segregate, or ostracize them from participating in society, YOU ARE NOT NICE.
And not only are you not nice, you are breaking the law. Go read Title VII. Go read the Civil Rights Act. Go read the Code of Federal Regulation, and specifically, Title 21 and others.
Release your fears. Stop trying to control the lives of others. Listen to experts. Go find them. They are all around us. They are our neighbors, our community leaders. They are doctors, nurses, medical professionals. Many of them are speaking up from their area of expertise. Respect their training, respect that given they work in the field, and many on the front line, they know what they are talking about.
Recognize that many at the “top” right now, who are telling the rest of us what to do, have severe conflicts of interest. Ignore them. Find other experts who are interested in our well being, not their own well being at the expense of the rest of us.
Why don’t you begin to be nice by honoring the choices of others, and respecting their autonomy to make decisions that they feel are best for them?
Stop bullying others to do what you want them to do.
Stop “mandating” what others should do with their bodies.
Stop segregating, dividing, and shunning others for their choices that they have the freewill God-Given right to make.
Allow others the freedom to live according to their conscience, just like they wish to allow of you.
That’s the “nice” thing to do.