Wednesday, April 21, 2010

ABC Wednesday: N is for Nice

When did the word, Nice, become such a wimp? When did it become synonymous with boring, uninspired, blah?

"I had a Nice time." Translation? "I was counting the minutes until it was over."

"She's a Nice girl." Translation? "She doesn't have a living cell in her brain."

"Thanks for the Nice gift." Translation? "Maybe there's a gift receipt in here somewhere???"

There seems to be universal acceptance of the idea that our society is evolving from a polite society into a society of drive and determination. The Golden Rule is out. Me, ME, ME!!! is in. We've become louder, less forgiving, determined to prove that we are alive, desirable, and in charge of our own destinies. We're active; not passive. We've embraced exclamation marks and icons to show our emotions. It's all about what I can get of out life right.this.minute!!!!

So what happened to Nice? It got stepped on, kicked to the side, and reworked into something weak.
Don't you know that "Nice guys finish last" ??

But you know what? I still love nice. I still want to be thought of as a nice neighbor and friend who has time to listen. I hope I am the Nice teacher who cares beyond the boundaries of the textbook. Nice means smiling at store clerks and telling new moms that their babies are beautiful. It means choosing happiness. It means thinking before I speak and taking responsibility if I hurt someone. It means that I won't always get the best seat or the last word, but it doesn't have to mean that I am boring, insipid, or without direction.

I want Nice to live here. And if some people interpret that to mean that I want to be a flat liner and perpetually beige, they are welcome to take the gift receipt and exchange me for someone a little less Nice.

Have a Nice day!!!
For more ABC Wednesdays, go here.

21 comments:

Checkered.loves.Caution said...

Nice post...

Mara said...

You're not beige in my opinion. I think nice is a nice thing to be.

Nice!

The Incredible Woody said...

I think the world would be a much better play if everyone would just play nice.

My Mercurial Nature said...

Great post, really! We could all use a little lesson in being nice!

Robin said...

You are right...somewhere along the way nice became pejorative. Not all the time, but in certain cases defintely. I think the problem lies in that ~ in some cases ~ it doesn't say enough if you don't know the person. However, it is always nice to be nice. Me, I prefer the word kind. There isn't enough kindness out there. If people were kinder to each other, this world would be a lot nicer.

Wanda said...

This was a deliciously NICE post.... I'm smiling!!!!

joanne said...

I've never thought of you as beige but when I think of nice you always come to mind. I say let's bring nice back where he belongs...;p

Joy said...

Nicely put. Maybe it was those teachers that used to tell you not to use the word nice in compositions. Here's to nice neighbours, and nice people and nice biscuits (couldn't resist that last one).

Jay said...

My English teacher at school would never let us use 'nice' but made us find better adjectives. She quite rightly pointed out that it had become bland and the meaning was now far removed from the original.

Did you know that it used to mean 'foolish'? And then it came to mean 'finicky' or 'particular'? It's been through several changes to get to where it is today!

On behalf of the team, thanks for taking part in ABC Wednesday this week! :)

Betty said...

Great post! I so agree. I like nice and I think you´re nice!

claudia said...

I have always thought of you as NICE and I mean that in the very best sense of the word!

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I like this a lot. I wish more people would make an effort to be NICE!

ChrisJ said...

My English teacher of more than 30 years ago wouldn't let us use the word nice -- probably because HER English teacher taught her that way.
If nice means pleasant, happy, polite, thoughtful, friendly, generous, kind, warm and outgoing, then nice is what I want to be!

Roger Owen Green said...

You're right, "nice" has been co-opted.
Also the source of my favorite MASH quote, by Frank Burns, "It's nice to be nice to the nice!"

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Deb said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm in Cadillac, have family in the Flint/Detroit area....

Jientje said...

Food for thought. Loved it!

Busy Bee Suz said...

I love this. I love the Nice mantra.
I love nice people. I am a nice person. I love to tell new mamas that their babies are beautiful...even when they are not. :)
And I love beige. And hot pink.
Did I tell you I loved nice people?
You my friend are NICE.

Ally said...

omg this is so true! i just started freelancing for this agency and i was concerned because i had only heard negative things about them. on day two the big boss asks how i'm liking it and i actually couldn't think of a thing to say and said, 'it's nice' ha ha! because i didn't really think it was nice :(

Mrs4444 said...

Here Here! :)

imbeingheldhostage said...

Nice seems to have gotten shelved with meek-- which also does NOT translate into wimp or weak. It was super nice of you to write such a nice post!

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

Nice is free. It should be everywhere. I love nice!
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