Being nice and being a mensch

“She’s such a nice person.”

“Isn’t that nice.”

“What a nice guy.”

Mr Decker my English teacher always told me that nice is not a very nice adjective. I think he said it was a bit soft, weak or anaemic.

Like all good lessons, it has taken me 30 years for this to hit home in the real world of people and relationships.

What is mostly ‘nice’ in people is not always real.

It is often the veneer on top. The superficial. 

Nice people could also have the real depth that sits underneath, but not necessarily. 

I’ve found that nice people can be found lacking when a real test of character comes along. 

Conversely, the people who are not so nice, a bit rough around the edges and not as polished, often shine brighter when their true mettle is tested.

The above may be too simple of course but then my take away is more profound.

When describing character, the word mensch is reserved for the special people. The people who go way beyond just nice. 

Nice is for everyone else. Those who are just, well, nice.

Nice is not always as nice as you think

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Author: Dale Williams

Dale is based in Cape Town on the southern tip of Africa from where he maintains connections with people all over the world through his portfolio life.