The Alphabet of Us: N is for Nice… March 9, 2015

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Building block N big

All human beings possess a heart, soul, mind and strength. Nothing of any true significance can be achieved unless this is understood.

Nearly seventy years ago, a grumpy baseball manager snarled to a nearby reporter, “Nice guys finish last.”

That should have been the end of it.

But he is still quoted by human beings who have given up on the idea of creatively finding ways to achieve their goals while still maintaining civility. Yes, we tend to extol the virtue of meanness while making fun of the childishness of being nice.

There are two problems with this.

Number one, the people who want to be mean to me expect me to be nice to them. They are not prepared for my rebound of meanness.

And secondly, for four thousand years the Jews and Arabs have pursued the “doctrine of meanness,” and may I say, the project is a complete failure.

Nice is not an abstract willingness to submit to the will of others. Rather, nice is the desire to get along with other people, and the determination to use our talents and intelligence to possess it.

So let us honor the beauty of nice. I shall teach you the “Head to Toe Show”–the anatomy of how we can use our entire being to actuate our goals:

1. I have a brain so I will use it to think of ways to succeed without hurting other people.

2. Having eyes, I see you as my equal, not my victim.

3. With my ears, I choose to hear your voice instead of just mine.

4. With my mouth, I speak good–or choose silence.

5. Using my neck, I turn toward hope and away from cynicism.

6. I shoulder my own personal responsibility.

7. I lend a hand … or maybe even two.

8. I don’t waste my waist, but I bend to change my actions toward acceptance instead of judgment.

9. I use my legs to walk toward helping people instead of away from them.

10. I kneel before something and someone larger than myself.

11. And I always put feet to my faith.

Nice is a decision to take our elements, from head to toe, and employ them toward solution instead of wallowing in aggravation.

It is when we reject the premise that survival means to kill instead of survival being a way to construct a much-needed network of fellowship.

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