Why We Don’t Really Want to be Nice – Free Ebook

good morning morning good morning oh and in case I don’t see you good afternoon good evening and good night setting out to try to become a nicer person sounds like a deeply colorless and dispiriting ambition in theory we love niceness of course but in practice there appears to be something embarrassing the anodyne meek tedious even sexless about the concept a nice person sounds like something we try to be only once every other more arduous and more rewarding alternative had failed our suspicion of niceness may feel personal but it has a long history bearing the sediment of at least four major cultural currents that it pays to try and understand for centuries Christianity was the single most powerful force shaping or intellectual horizons and it was profoundly committed to promoting niceness to the world with the finest aesthetic and intellectual resources its sang the praises of forgiveness charity tenderness and empathy but unfortunately for niceness Christianity didn’t simply leave it there it also suggested that there might be a fundamental opposition between being nice and being successful successful people would not so believe as were told on the whole very nice people and nice people were not on the whole very successful it seemed applicants to the Kingdom of Heaven had a choice to make niceness all success the true at a stroke the dichotomy deeply tarnished the appeal of niceness to anyone with the remotest spark of healthy worldly ambition in their hearts Christianity might have been striving to infuse us about niceness but by connecting it up so firmly with failure it created an enduring feeling that this was ultimately the quality of interest chiefly to losers for the last 200 years we’ve been heavily influenced by the cultural movement known as Romanticism and for the romantics the admirable person has been synonymous with the exciting person someone intense and creative mercurial and spontaneous someone who might upset tradition and Derek points to be forceful even rude in the name of following the call of their own hearts the diametric opposite of this heroic figure was for the romantics someone mild and respectable guarded and conservative unflattering quiet in other words the boring person here too there is seemed a radical choice to be made by the fiery unpredictable and brilliant or meek conventional and always in bed by 9:00 to this charge sheet of niceness capitalism added another indictment presenting an interpretation of the world as a deeply competitive arena in which all companies were committed to forge continuous battle for market share in an atmosphere marked by ruthlessness determination and impatience those who succeeded had to know how to destroy the competition and handled the workforce without a trace of emotion a nice person unwilling to squeeze wages or outwit an opponent would end up either bankrupt or in the mailroom a final that personal association hangs over niceness the belief that the nice can’t be sexually desirable for the qualities that make us erotic are bound up with the possession of brutal domineering confident edges but odds with the tenderness coziness beloved of the nice once again an awkward choice presents itself between the pleasant friend with whom to go to the park and the dangerous companion with whom to disappear into the dungeon with handcuffs and a whip despite all this the truth is that we like niceness very much and depend upon it even more it’s just that our true memories of niceness have been suppressed by a culture that unfairly makes us feel unintelligent for lending niceness our approval all of the qualities we’ve been taught to think off as opposed to niceness are in fact highly compatible with and appoints highly dependent upon it however much we committed to success for long portions of our lives we are intensely vulnerable creatures wholly at the mercy of the gentleness of others were only ever able to be successful because other people usually our mothers have given up a good share of their lives to being nice to us as for excitement this two can only ever be a phase as all those who’ve made real contributions to humankind no quiet days domestic routine and regular bedtimes are the necessary preconditions of the creative highs there is nothing more sterile than a demand that life be constantly exciting for its part capitalism may reward competition between firms but it relies on collaboration within them no company can function long without trust and bonds of personal affection much of the frustration of boss’s money can’t guarantee the necessary commitment from employees only meaning and a spirit of companionship will lastly the sexual thrill of nastiness only ever properly entices and conditions of trust however much we may fantasize about a night with a ruthless Conqueror it would be alarming to wind up with an actual example we need to know someone is fundamentally kind before an offer of a rope and sound of swear words become properly interesting so much of what we value is in fact preserved by niceness and is compatible with it we can be nice and successful nice and exciting nice and wealthy and nice and potent niceness is a virtue awaiting our rediscovery and our renewed unconvicted appreciation you you

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