I have been accused of being “too nice” many times, as if there were such a thing. There are much worse things to be accused of, I suppose. What scares me is that the accusers seem to think that my generosity is a flaw, and have the audacity to criticize me for my actions or sometimes poke fun at them. If you know me at all, you know I’m anything but a bleeding heart. Might the criticism be to cover your own guilt for not acting in kind?
These “nice” things really aren’t putting me out—no one is sleeping on my couch (except me when I crash watching tv), and I rarely give money away unless it’s for a good cause that I have researched thoroughly. We’re talking about things like picking up my trash at the movie theater—my date says, “What do you do that for? They pay people to do that!” Not that I should have to give anyone a reason, but it’s as simple as “because I can.” Bonus: it makes someone’s life a little easier (it can’t be fun to pick up trash at a movie theater for minimum wage, I don’t care how young you are). Going further, perhaps movies wouldn’t be so damn expensive if they didn’t have to pay extra personnel to clean up after able-bodied movie-goers. It seems silly to NOT clean up your own trash if you ask me.
Perhaps the only negative things to come of being “too nice” is that I acquire some strange acquaintances, and sometimes others abuse my patience. I’ve been known to hang out with some rather socially awkward people, thinking that they just need a chance, or they’re not that bad. I’m usually wrong about that… As a rule, I am not nice enough to handle social awkwardness or anyone being rude. Apparently not everyone has the same tolerance that I do. I don’t want to be known as “the girl that invited the weirdo.” cough*Bora*cough
I read somewhere once “It is better to be kind than to be right.” I wish I could attribute the quote to someone, but I haven’t been able to locate it. I want to say it’s from a Richard Carlson Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff book, but I’m not sure. How true is this? I know there are some who disagree, but really what pleasure do you get out of being right? I only get pleasure from it when someone is being obnoxious and petty trying to prove their point of view. Other than that, there are very few situations where pointing out when someone is wrong is imperative (wrong altitude on a plane, someone believes that doing meth is good for his health, etc.). It’s kind of like tattling. Is it going to hurt this person to keep believing this? No? Let it be. Live and let live. No sense in making that person feel bad. They’ll figure it out eventually.
Anyhoo, back to my actions … what’s the big deal if I want to go a little out of my way for someone else? I’ve always believed that good things happen to good people. Pay it forward, what goes around comes around, Karma, all that stuff. It may not be true, but if it is, I think I’ll be set. Think about it: how much of an imposition is it to you if you help a woman with a fussy baby unload her grocery cart at the checkout? What does it hurt to say “I’m sorry” instead of “excuse me?” If you know something to be untrue, but in the interest of avoiding an argument, you keep quiet? Or if you see someone drop a whole pile of papers, how can you just walk by? What does it cost you to smile at a stranger that looks like he’s having a rough day, or to be genuinely friendly to a cashier? How much are you going to be set back if you leave extra room for someone to merge in front of you on a crowded highway, or if you let someone with only a few items go ahead of you at the store? Thirty seconds maybe? If you are financially stable, isn’t it worth a few extra bucks to pick up a friend’s dinner—ooh better yet, a stranger’s dinner. I could come up with ideas for days …