This has been a post growing and sunning in my seed garden. It’s been gaining nutrients and growing deep roots and growing into a full grown plant in the sun of my heart and in my blog ‘garden’.
So. Nice versus kind. Real quick, let’s take a look at the nitty gritty and dictionary definitions of both of these words. Let’s dissect them for a quick minute!
I will warn you that “nice” is a short and sweet line. However, “kind” delves pretty deep. Look it up! For the sake of this post, however, let’s keep her short ‘n sweet. (Interesting that two words seen by our culture as close synonyms aren’t really close at all.)
Nice: pleasant; agreeable; satisfactory.
Kind: having or showing a friendly, generous, considerate nature. Affectionate, loving. Used in a polite request. (But also stuff like this: ‘a group of people or things having similar characteristics’…and etc!)
AMAZING to me! I have never compared these two side-by-side like this. Why do we see them as equals when they are not? Nice is more of a surface word and easily comes off the tongue (especially when we’re talking to our kids or other folks who are bad-mouthing someone else…”HEY. Be NICE.”)
Nice. It’s a nice word. Isn’t it? It’s a surface word. Rainbows and frolicking ponies come to mind. It’s a word that easily says something, but not quite all we mean. It’s just a word to try to steer a conversation or a mindset, but not quite committed enough to think deeper or to feel deeper. Or to do anything about something.
Kind. It’s a…complex word. Not from just hearing the word roll off your tongue, but when you really think of what you’re saying. “Be kind.” I think that even if one didn’t know the complete definition of this word, it still invokes some kind of thought process. It does for me, anyway.
Here’s my take on these two word-cousins.
Nice keeps you popular and liked without diving in to things you don’t want to stir up or be spotted out for. Nice is a “wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am” word. Nothing deep, nothing noteworthy. It’s nice, but it isn’t sustainable nor does it actually grow you or the person you’re being nice to. It doesn’t actually change anything, it keeps it the same. In life, we have a village of people to uplift and grow us. But, in that, we don’t want to be “that” one person to call out something dangerous or harmful or embarrassing in someone else’s life that we see very plainly. Often times, this is due to people wanting to be liked. When we’re that person to call out something, we stand the chance to be ousted from the person’s life or group and don’t care enough about them or the group to say something–because, we want to be popular or liked. So, we care more about ourselves then? Right? Only a small percentage of people, statistically speaking, don’t care who likes them. Most of us do. That’s why nice is kinda sorta dangerous.
Kind is a whole other ball game. In another league. Kind is loving and caring. You know why? Because when we’re kind, we put our own popularity or position in jeopardy for a hot minute. Think of it! If you’ve got the intestinal fortitude to call out something, who KNOWS how it will be received? You could be the outsider in .2 seconds–where just a .2 seconds ago, you were ‘in’.
Wisdom this THIS though. Never coupling kindness without love. Most of the readers of this blog know this (but not all, and please look this up!) know what 1 Corinthians 13:1 says in the Bible, the Word of God: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.”
Meaning, if something is said out of kindness because you care, make sure to marry it with love. Because without love, it will come off as pride that ‘you know better’ and you’re better and you’re the savior because you see something that person or group doesn’t. And it’s a noisy and note-less gong or cymbal. It’s not music, it’s just ugly noise. That’s not how true kindness works! True kindness is always meant and said in love. Because the love you have for the person or group makes you want to help grow them and nurture them.
Even in silly, every day things…
Like today! For me, actually. I was grocery shopping with my 3 little girls. My oldest, who is currently 9, has the eyes of a hawk and doesn’t miss anything. Which, can sometimes come as an annoyance to me (truthfully). She was too irritated with her 6 year old sister who was making the grocery cart she was pushing tip over. Middle sis was hanging on it like a howler monkey and playing with the littlest sister, and the biggest sister–trying to be a big girl and push the cart for me–was at her wit’s end with her. (Mom confession: I was inwardly laughing!) It was very amusing.
We quickly ran to the restroom before tackling our shopping list, and I guess I had tucked my underwear over my shirt. Sooo….yeah. Totally showing off my undergarments to the world of retail. GREAT. We shopped for 30 minutes, and not one soul in that busy store had said: “Hey…your underwear is showing.” Not even my ultra-observant 9 year old who would have normally said something like: *whispered voice* “Mommy…your underwear is hanging out!!!”
Nice was trying to keep me from being embarrassed. Or, them being embarrassed to say something? (You KNOW at least 90% of my fellow shoppers got to see my underwear selection for the day!) Kindness would have called it out and corrected the exposure for my own good. See the difference? A moment of uncomfort would have led to a moment of correction. Even with silly underwear. LOL!
I am so guilty myself of being too concerned with “nice” sometimes. I pray we, as fellow humans, can show others true kindness. True kindness=LOVE+TRUTH.
Broccoli in teeth? Underwear over your shirt? Toxic relationship? Pride? The list goes on…let’s show TRUE kindness!