It’s just not nice to be kind, apparently

I’m sure you have seen it. It’s that commercial for KIND brand nutrition bars that opens with the voiceover: “Some people confuse nice with kind.”

It goes on to promote the “virtues” of their nature snack as opposed to synthetic shortcomings in the ingredients of other brands. Either way, I think the statement itself is fairly accurate.

Oh, as an aside for you young folks without traditional TV or sports / binge-series watchers who record shows then rush through them like Han Solo ducking the Imperial Fleet at hyper-speed, the commercials are the little :30 and :60 blurbies separating the meat of your main feature.

I digress.

Call me kooky but I always thought of both concepts as, you know, good. Dictionary.com calls it this way:

Nice: adjective — pleasant; agreeable; amiably pleasant.

Kind: adjective — of a good or benevolent nature or disposition, as a person.

Each sounds pretty positive, right? Well, not according to Kevin Ellerton, founder and editor-in-chief of MeditationMag.com.

Ellerton is of the mind that there is a disparity of biblical proportion between these two — and one of ’em, he says, is downright bad. In fact, Ellerton intimates that nice people are anything but. He basically calls them pure evil.


In his article, “Nice vs. Kind — What is the Difference between Niceness and Kindness?” he states that the nice person is self-absorbed, worrying what others perceive of him while the kind person is focused on people and caring for them.

He explains that, historically, nice people were just lackeys of evil tyrants who were only loyal / nice to the latter group so they wouldn’t be obliterated by them. Ellerton actually pegged nice people as manipulative, shallow and untrustworthy.

Hmm. He sums it up with these strong assertions:

l The kind person is strong. The nice person is weak.

l The kind person is selfless. The nice person is selfish.

l The kind person feels empathy. The nice person is narcissistic.

l The kind person is happy. The nice person does not know happiness.

l Ultimately: The core of a “kind person” is love. The core of a “nice person” is fear.

So much for the idea of it being nice to be nice to the nice. Yikes!

Look, all I know is, kindness is either in your disposition DNA or it isn’t; yet even those who aren’t necessarily charitable in the deepest reaches of their hearts can choose to be nice … and I don’t think that necessarily makes them Jack the Ripper, you dig?

Bottom line: It’s cool to be nice but crucial to be kind.

What I find most troubling about those of us who absolutely do love our fellow men and women and feel totes compassion for them is that we’re often thought of as a completely different adjective — stupid.

Sadly, it’s been my experience that there is a contingent of folks out there who think of us tender-hearts as weak, incompetent and even feeble-minded. Um, all because I put a smiley at the end of my message, bruh? #Rude

Truth be told, we may just be a whole lot smarter and more valuable than our critics admit. #WatchYourselfBub

Ah well, it’s all good. We the gentle are tough enough to take it.

Even when you’re undermining and disparaging us simply for smiling too much, we’ll keep right on. We’ll even be extra nice to you, capisce?

Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist who just wants the humans to be kind to one another, or even nice if that’s all they got. Visit her soothing little daily blog www.patriciakimerer.com.


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