The power of kindness: why being nice isn't enough
In our daily interactions, we often hear people urging us to be nice. "Be nice to others," they say. While the intention behind this advice may be well-meaning, it's important to recognise that being nice is merely scratching the surface of what truly matters in our interactions with others. Instead, we should strive to be kind.
This article is a summary of Daniele Procida's lightning talk on being nice during DangoCon 2023. Daniele Procida's talks are always excellent. If you ever have the chance to see him speak, be sure to attend!
Kindness goes beyond superficial politeness and holds the power to transform lives and foster genuine connections. In this blog post, we will explore why being nice isn't enough, and why embracing kindness is the key to a more compassionate and harmonious world.
- Genuine empathy and understanding: being nice often stems from societal expectations and a desire to maintain appearances. On the other hand, kindness arises from a place of genuine empathy and understanding. Kindness requires us to step into someone else's shoes, to listen with an open heart, and to offer support and compassion without judgment. It enables us to connect with others on a deeper level, fostering a sense of belonging and emotional well-being.
- Authenticity and sincerity: while being nice can sometimes feel artificial or forced, kindness radiates authenticity and sincerity. Kindness is a reflection of our true character and values, grounded in an innate desire to make a positive difference in someone's life. It involves acts of selflessness, generosity, and thoughtfulness, leaving a lasting impact on both the giver and the receiver. By embracing kindness, we create meaningful connections built on trust and mutual respect.
- Long-term Impact: being nice often focuses on immediate outcomes or short-term gratification. It may involve superficial gestures or surface-level pleasantries. In contrast, kindness has the potential for long-term impact. It can uplift spirits, inspire others, and create a ripple effect that extends far beyond the initial act. Small acts of kindness can sow seeds of hope, promoting a culture of compassion and encouraging others to pay it forward, thereby fostering a more harmonious and supportive society.
- Resilience in the face of adversity: kindness possesses an inherent strength that surpasses the boundaries of personal comfort. It enables us to respond with compassion even in the face of challenging situations or difficult individuals. While being nice may falter when tested, kindness stands strong, refusing to let negativity or hostility taint its essence. By embodying kindness, we empower ourselves to be a force for good, even in the most trying circumstances.
- Self-fulfillment and personal growth: kindness is not only transformative for others but also for ourselves. Engaging in acts of kindness provides a sense of purpose, fulfillment, and personal growth. It allows us to tap into our inherent capacity for compassion and empathy, nurturing our own well-being and self-worth. By prioritizing kindness, we align ourselves with values that elevate our own lives and contribute positively to the world around us.
While being nice may be a starting point for basic social interactions, true human connection and meaningful relationships are fostered through kindness. Kindness transcends superficiality, resonating with the core of our humanity. By embracing kindness, we can make a lasting impact on others, create a more compassionate society, and experience personal growth and fulfilment. Let us strive to be kind, for in doing so, we contribute to a world that thrives on empathy, understanding, and genuine human connection.