Every now and again I go through phases of nostalgia and longing. What would I want to tell my younger self? What would I want to tell my older self? Be more confident, be faster, be braver. All of these are very good things and worthy of me discovering time travel, but this morning I cam upon something else – nice. I would tell me younger self to always be nice and my older self to continue being nice.
If my English teacher ever stumbles upon this I can see him shaking his head in disappointment. I will never forget the lesson where he told us that calling a character nice is exactly the same as calling the character boring. So, older me BE BORING. But obviously I disagree and this is why I fancy Mr Bingley a lot more than Mr Darcy. Why would I want the moody, mean man when I can have the cheerful, nice Mr Bingley?
That word nice is such a, well, nice word. It makes me think of good manners and cheerfulness, and for some strange reason strawberries. It also makes me thinking of kindness, another word my English teacher hated and one I place huge importance on. If I could I would tell my younger self to first and foremost be kind to myself. I am the only me I will ever have and it has taken me too long to give myself and my body the respect it deserves. I want my future self to be just as nice and kind to me as I now am.
I want to always be nice to my loved ones (even the strange relations I wish I wasn’t related to) and nice to strangers, which can be so difficult and something I struggle with all the time. Those strangers can’t help but be slow on the tube….I have to remember that and even though I fail almost every morning I will keep on trying.
Of course people see niceness and kindness as weaknesses. To them I say f*** off. Go take your bad manners and rudeness somewhere else before I nice and kind you into an early grave. Don’t for one moment think I won’t stand up for myself or what I want – when I argue with you I will distract you with how pleasant I am then fly kick you with a rude word.
Being nice shouldn’t be underestimated: it’s hard constant work and very easy to fail. It’s also in such short supply. People don’t expect it because the default is being not-kind and not-nice. When did this happen and why? I don’t want to live forever but the time I spend here I want to enjoy and I don’t want to spend more energy than absolutely necessary in being mean to other people. It’s not worth it.
You know, it’s really easy for me to write this – if you follow me on twitter I bet I’ll tweet about how annoying everyone is on my commute to work. Yet, I am going to keep on trying because no matter what people (here read old English teacher) think, being nice is a worthy goal.