The Niceness Dilemma

Since you were a child your parents have been telling you to be nice. They want you to be a good person, with good values, and good manors which is great. It’s fantastic that parents attempt to raise their children to become good people, no matter how futile. What I can’t stand is the reason behind it. Whether it’s your parents or your teachers at school the reason they say you should be nice is the same: “You need to be nice to everyone because you’ll never know when/if you’ll need them”

What utter bullshit. That’s such a weird and twisted outlook on being nice. It’s such an awful lesson to teach a child, or anyone for that matter. If I had to guess this twisted little idea is the very reason why most children end up growing up to become the shitty people that fill the streets today. “You’ll never know when you need them” is that a fucking joke? You’re telling me to be nice to someone… because I might need them… in the future? It’s so gross and greedy all at once.

First of all, what? When will a janitor be able to help me? How will a barista at Starbucks be a future asset? I mean that’s how we quantify people, right? As assets. I can’t imagine how much that fucks up children. This will lead most to believe that they should start predicting who they will and won’t need in the future so they only have to act nice to a select few.  How many people do you consider shitty or a kiss ass because they are only nice to people they need to be nice to and are shitty to everyone else? It’s a terrible ideal that we basically force upon the youth. How has no one else had an issue with this? Why is “You need to be nice to everyone because you’ll never know when you’ll need them” still even a saying? It’s awful.

More importantly, why can’t we be nice for the sake of being nice? Why does there have to be a secretive ulterior motive? What is this weird incentive to make a return on your niceness investment? Treat people nicely because they’re a human being. Treat people nicely because it’s the right thing to do. Be nice because you want to be a good person. Or don’t! Be a jerk! Be mean! Do whatever you believe but let’s not give being nice this weird and greedy motivation.

I’m not a parent but if/when I become one I will teach my child to be nice because it’s the right thing to do. I’d teach them to treat people in away he or she would expect to be treated. Children and adults shouldn’t be just taught to be nice. They should be taught to be nice for a reason. Maybe my reason for being nice isn’t perfect but it sure as hell is better than being nice for future gains.

To put it plainly, this weird and borderline sociopathic saying needs to die and it needs to die hard. It has to be a mass execution so everyone knows that it was wrong. Be nice to others because they like you are a human fucking being and you’re (hopefully) not a piece of shit.

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