Nice vs. Kind
I have seen some horrible behavior lately. I would just attribute it to the stress of the past year. Except some people were rude way before the pandemic. People’s actions are getting a little out of hand. Everyone is not built for long term uncertainty. So when I overheard a conversation about being nice versus being kind, my interest was peaked.
Had I been using them incorrectly this whole time? I looked both words up in the dictionary. Nice is to be pleasant, agreeable, or delightful. To think I’ve been using it to be cynical or passive-aggressive. I kid. Kind, however, is the quality or habit of being friendly, generous, or considerate.
So, I have been paying attention to what makes a person nice or kind. Is it a look? Do people send out a vibe? Do they demonstrate better body language? How can you tell?
For example, last week my husband and I were at my new favorite bagel place. There is no eat-in section, just a few seats where you can wait for your food. The place is not that large, but it is always at a busy pace.
On this particular day, there may have been four or five patrons ahead of us. An older gentleman was sitting, having a hard time with his iPhone. Several people walked past him on their way out. As we were leaving, he asked my husband if he would mind giving him some help? My husband said “sure” and proceeded to show him how to navigate to what he was looking for.
I admire sometimes how approachable my husband is to people. I would say that was a nice gesture, but my husband has always been kind. It is one of his defining qualities. He seems to live a happier life for it.
So as part of my 2021 resolution, I am on day eleven of my new habit of kindness. There is this belief that if you do something between 18 and 256 days it can become a habit or an average of 66 days for the behavior to become automatic.
I think the craziness of 2020 is trying to follow us into 2021 and I for one am putting up a fight. Just know that the next time I tell someone to have a nice day, I may be killing them with kindness.