Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Being nice

I've missed Rich's posts over at Beef Always Wins, and a quick check showed me that he's not blogging yet. It occurred to me that he might be blogging at his other sites, and it turns out that he was, in April. Over at Cord of Three he has some really amusing posts about Young Life events. They look like nice young people and, more importantly, they reflect back so nicely on Rich, showing him to be (here's that word again), an extremely nice young man. After all, here's a handsome (I've seen the pictures, Rich) young man, married, no children, just returned from the War, and he's spending his time working with adolescents. People I know just don't do that -- we're just too busy being yuppies. (And in my defense now, we're all very involved in the community through our own children.) Why am I harping on niceness? Because I was thinking back to my adolescent and young adult years. In my millieu -- the 1970s/early 1980s, Bay Area, middle class, intelligence as a virtue -- niceness was not prized. My friends and I looked for guys who were "cool," politically aware, smart, well-to-do, handsome, and so on, but nice or kind simply weren't on the list. And that's a shame. In any relationship, kindness really ought to be the first, second or third thing we look for in a person, because that lays the groundwork for so many other things -- respect, comfort, warmth. Intelligence you can get from a book; looks are in the beholder's eyes; wealth comes and goes; "coolness" and political awareness (always to the Left, of course), are not things I value anymore -- but kindness or niceness are forever. I'll throw one more thought out here. I mentioned that Rich's kindness manifested itself in his involvement with Young Life, which I gather is a Christian ministry of some kind. I wondered, therefore, whether niceness, while it is not a virtue in society at large, may be something that is given more respect within religious communities. Certainly, if that's true, it's one more reason to hope for a retreat from the aggressive secularity the Left craves. If only one could make the Left believe that it's only its fevered imagination that dresses modern American Christians in the extreme garb of Colonial Puritans or modern Islamists. I'm off for a couple of days. Enjoy what's here, and don't forget to come back!