Good v. Nice

August 4, 2008 at 2:22 AM (Musings) (, , )

I don’t remember who said it.  Whomever it was, I agree with him or her, and I try to be mindful of it: being nice doesn’t necessarily make one good.

I suddenly recalled that it’s one of the few intelligent things that Goldilocks says in Sondheim’s Into the Woods (“Nice is different than good.”).  Back on topic!

It goes hand-in-hand with “Actions speak louder than words,” a cliché that, as nagging as it may sound, is still true.  A person may say the most flattering things to my face, but if that person turns around and speaks ill of me, then how could I possibly count on that person to support me for any given reason (personal gain, maybe, but that doesn’t so much make a person good)?

A good person, I feel, is one who may not have the kindest of things to say, but rather be truthful with and respectful of others.  I would prefer to keep the company of the blunt person who will will support me unconditionally than that of the hollow yes-man.

Luckily for me, my brother is the former.  Of course we get into snarky tiffs over absolutely nothing, but at the same time, I know I can count on him for anything.  Over the past few days, I’ve been under the weather pretty consistently.  I don’t know if it’s because he has a sixth sibling sense or he just has great timing, but he’s been determined to spend time with me for three out of the last four days.  By no means would I say that my brother and I are great friends, and we certainly don’t have too many common interests, but he’s still been a welcome escape from everything else that’s been bugging me as of late.  He’s not even had to say anything sympathetic.  In fact, he’s probably teased me more than anything else over the past few days, but it has been good-natured.  Everything is so down-to-earth with him; I know he will be the LAST person on this planet to bad-mouth me (or try to flatter me, for that matter).  It was refreshing to spend time with someone who is the paradigm of genuine goodness, even if he isn’t a total ray of sunshine.

Thanks, man.


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