Being nice and being kind are often misunderstood. People think they are the same thing when really, they aren’t. They are both virtues and I would prefer to be both nice and kind, but if I had to choose between the two, I’d prefer being kind.
The way I think of myself leans more towards being kind than nice because I can be rather blunt at times because it’s just who I am. But I don’t do anything to intentionally hurt someone’s feelings. Sometimes it just comes off that way.
The difference between being nice and being kind is that being nice is expressed on the surface, whereas, being kind is expressed from beneath the surface.
Since I’m a big fan of people watching, I not only take interest in observing the way people interact with others, but how they interact with me. I’ve had friends in the past who “appeared” to be very nice. They’ve always said hi and gave off that “life is great” vibe. And I’ve also had friends who didn’t “appear” to really care about much about anyone. But when it came down to showing true acts of kindness, it was the ones who didn’t appear to really care much that stepped up to the plate. They’re the ones who have that naturally strong ability to sympathize with others.
I’m not saying everyone is either nice or kind, but I find that people generally lean towards one or the other because of the competing forces between our ego and intuition. It’s 5 times much easier to lean towards our ego because we are mortal beings and need to find ways to survive, even when we aren’t being chased by saber-toothed tigers.
If you are both nice and kind equally, I feel you are one of the rare and will get very far in this life. Your opposite, however, which is both mean and unkind, won’t get very far in this life at all. If they do, it probably won’t be very good for their next life as I feel we are all energetic beings and once we pass away, our energy is reincarnated into something else based on the karma we have lived in this life and prior lives. I feel that the better of a person you continue to become in this life will have a major impact on where you go next and so on and so forth, infinitely. And for those who don’t want to be a good person, well, you know how the story goes. But that’s a different topic for discussion.
So, there’s this couple I met a few years ago who worked at the same place I did. They were polar opposites to one another and I had a rather strange feeling about them as a couple. Right away I didn’t have a good feeling about the girlfriend even though she was overly positive all the time, whereas, her boyfriend appeared to be less social. But regardless of what they appeared to be, I still wanted to get to know them instead of judging them for their outer appearance. As I got to know them, I started to realize that the girlfriend wasn’t what she appeared to be and neither was her boyfriend.
The girlfriend was always so nice to me. In fact, she was nice to everyone, and always smiled. But I always felt deep down, there was always some kind of motive to her behavior. I let her borrow my vacuum one time and it broke. Ok, no problem. I let her use my dryer because hers broke. Ok, no problem. But anytime I would text her asking for info about something in regards to work, I would either get a very short reply or she’d never reply at all and when I’d see her, she would just be so nice and say that she forgot or was busy. This happened a lot. But her boyfriend, who seemed antisocial, would always help people if they needed it any way he could. He was well liked by everyone because even though he didn’t give off the “life is great” vibe, he showed many acts of kindness and gave a little smirk now and then. The girlfriend, however, started to show her true colors and it wasn’t so pleasant. Her smiley face and “life is great” appearance soon disappeared and aligned with her true inner nature.
This goes to show that true kindness will get you far in life, regardless whether you “appear” to be kind or not. You attract what you are not what you appear to be. If you are kind, other kind people will see that. The ones who judge you by your appearance only are those who don’t align with your true value of kindness. Their inner vibration is more on a superficial level instead of an authentic level. They only look on the surface instead of the true value of what’s inside, therefore, they attract other people who are just like them and wonder why people don’t respect them.
Being nice only without that deeper level of compassion for others will surface at some point because what lies beneath the surface is much more powerful than what is shown on the surface.
Photo: The iceberg stock photo by Ralph Clevenger