Friday, October 07, 2005

Nice vs. Kind

Have you ever thought about the difference between someone who is "nice" vs. someone who is "kind"?

Is a person who is nice also kind? Is a person who is kind also nice? Can a person be nice without being kind? Can a person be kind without being nice?

Here are a few definitions for you:

Nice: adj; pleasant or pleasing or agreeable in nature or appearance; socially or conventionally correct; refined or virtuous

Kind: adj; having or showing a tender and considerate and helpful nature; used especially of persons and their behavior; characterized by mercy, and compassion

I recently started dating a certain person - oh about 5 weeks ago - who is very nice. Midwestern boy, good moral fiber, hard worker etc... etc... He opens doors, says thank you to waitresses, insists on paying for meals, plays with dogs on the street. Given all his positive traits, one would think that I'd be very happy to be dating this person. However, over the last 5 weeks (and 9 dates) I'm finding myself becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the boy. It's not just a "I'm not attracted to you and don't feel a click" sort of disinterest, it's far more of an internal gut dissatisfaction that borders on a "Don't date this guy anymore, he's no good." sort of thing. Then it dawned on me last night while I was out on a long run. He's a very nice person but he's not kind. DUUUUUUUUUDE!

I thought about this all night and came to this conclusion. Nice is something that can be taught and learned. It is, in its essence, superficial and based on transitiory actions. Kind is far more internal in nature and speaks to a persons ability for empathy and genuine desire to be merciful and helpful. A person can be nice without any genuine desire to help or heal.

Just a general thunk for the day.

Suffice it to say that I won't be going out on anymore dates with this boy.

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