Nice or not-nice, that is the question

by Oscar Brenifier

The following analysis is a purely subjective one, so it should not be taken the least seriously. In an evident way, it does not concern anyone, so any resemblance with known characters would be not only fortuitous but impossible. All the present statements have to be viewed as mere metaphors, exaggerations and manners of speaking.

One characteristic feature that comes out very clearly and seems loaded with importance in the social functioning of certain countries, is the fact one has to be nice. And as an individual, you get the strange impression that if you step out of line on this issue, we won’t be very nice to you... For it quickly seems to you that there are people who generously and selflessly pose themselves as the dubbed knights of nicety, bearers of the order of the happy face or heralds of the nice thinking, who sort of ensure that you will be nice. In order to do this, they won’t hesitate to use the appropriate means. They will push courage and devotion to the point of readily giving up being very nice as soon as some unconscious brute seems or threatens to break the established code. The problem with these good willed persons is that there are so many not-nice people around, that the poor fellows don’t even have the time to be nice anymore; they have to spend their time and energy being not-nice with the not-nice people. And they are so caught up in their responsibility, so committed to rooting out all not-niceness, that they catch a sort of disease linked to this professional activity: they are not-nice.

Well in a sort of way, it is not that they are really not-nice. In fact they have a common say, a four words expression, which saves them from equivocation, so we recognize who they are and do not mistake the nice not-nice person with the banal, brutish and usual not-nice not-nice person. This expression stands as a sort of short code, a password they use or a mantra they chant constantly, that reminds them who they are, even when they are caught in the middle of the permanent tornado of a such not-nice world. “Have a nice day!” “Have a nice day!” “Have a nice day!” do they say.

Furthermore, some became real professionals through their involvement in this just struggle: they have identified most of the premises and symptoms of not-nice thinking. They have defined them, outlined them, classified them and since this revelation dedicate their life to pursuing, chasing and condemning these pathological thinking, sayings and behaviors. The profound and insightful understanding they have forged themselves into the arcane of not-nice thinking allows them a more in-depth work in their ongoing practice of rooting out the seeds of such undesirable ways of being. Their work has become a real art, very subtle and refined. For example they can recognize a mile away a not-nice person with a not-nice behavior and not-nice thoughts even if this person is very very nice. Because one should never mix up a nice not-nice person with a not-nice nice person. They resemble each other like the dog resembles the wolf, a very dangerous look alike!

Of course they have a lot of detractors. Some bad mouths go as far as to compare them to the inquisition, or claim their constant chasing of not nice thinking resemble the pursuit of not-national or not-social behaviors in other places or other times. But all these odious statements are typically the insidious type of arguments made up by not-nice people, a functioning which is quite revealing of their profound wicked selves, and rests the case on why they should be chased after relentlessly and eradicated. One should not think these niceness lovers are irrational and extremist. All they say and think has been well and thoroughly thought out. And they are open to debate. The only difficulty is just that they haven't heard any argument yet that could really stick against their own positions, they have not encountered a single convincing, irrefutable or substantial evidence that could in any way restrain or weaken their theory. It is as simple as that.

Like with all school of thoughts, you have the theoreticians and masters, the militants, and then the simple rank and filers who just trust their leaders, generally without always being totally conscious that their leaders are their leaders. They mostly take for granted what they hear, viewing as normal the injunctions they receive, rendering without any holding back the tone that has been set. Very often, these disciples have so well learned and absorbed the message that at any time they will readily and almost gladly give up truth or renounce to express whatever they think to be true, viewing this challenge as a wonderful opportunity to manifest the extent of their sacrifice. For example – experience which could be rich in teachings for everyone – you could step on their toes that they would keep smiling at you in order not to hurt your feelings. They will go out their way not to say what they think to avoid being not nice. This, by the way, is how you recognize a militant from a simple convert. The latter will always be nice unless confronted to a far extreme, when the previous will not hesitate a single second to be not-nice in order to make anyone be nice. Which is understandable, since he feels responsible for all the others to be nice, altruistic behavior which is much less concerned with his own niceness than the one of society as a whole.

An undeniable attribute of nice people is that they are community conscious. Whether they will go out of their way in order not to contradict what the others say, or whether they are ready to fight with everyone in order to make them nice, ethics is a main part of their preoccupation. Pernicious minds would claim that the first category is coward and the second dictatorial, but once more this proves precisely our point: not nice people are libelous and villainous. Unlike the three well-known wise monkeys, they see evil, they hear evil, they say evil. Which totally justifies the harsh means that guardians of niceness must sadly resort to. Which fully explains as well the irascibility of these poor guardians, having to put themselves in the kind of state that is absolutely unnatural to them.

But thanks God for the nice people, there are laws that can be written, and a justice to enforce these laws, so that niceness can become not only a moral but a juridical obligation for all citizens. Little by little battles are won, which oblige everyone to be nice. New initiatives come up, which define new ways one should be nice, brand new obligations which will not allow us to rest on already established and complacent niceties. To be nice is not a large avenue paved with flowers, with the smell of myrrh and incense, it is a demanding and strenuous path, an initiation we have to undertake even if it makes us miserable. So next time you indulge in being not nice, just think of the great fun you could have making yourself miserable. And if you feel in anyway frustrated, you can relieve your pain by forcing everybody else to be nice. You will definitely feel much better.

Page created: 22.01.13. Page last modified: 22.01.13 23:31.