I have found that being nice vs being kind while expanding one’s awareness on a spiritual path can present as a dilemma. Why have I found this to be so?
The reason I have found being nice vs being kind a dilemma on a spiritual path is because I had the misguided notion that my goal on a spiritual path was to be nice to all living things. The problem with being nice arose when I hid my real feelings behind the mask of being nice when I should have been truthful about my feelings. I know we live in an overly politically correct time where speaking how you really feel may be offensive because no one wants to hear how you really feel anymore. They want whitewashed feelings so everything is false, fake. I know that it is important to be tactful and considerate when approaching others with how you really feel. In these situations, what you may feel and say may not be nice. How does this fly in the face of being so-called spiritual?
I believe and have found that it enhances your spiritual awareness to speak how you feel even if others perceive it as not being nice. Nice is fake. Don’t be nice. Be real. Most importantly, be kind. You can say what you feel and be kind even if the other perceives you as nasty. Be nasty because that’s how you really feel. I am not talking about being purposely malicious and hurtful. I am not talking about being tactless, abusive, mean with putting another down. I am talking about being real with kindness. If you don’t like how you are being treated whether it’s your wife, mother, waiter, tax accountant or priest, speak up, speak out. Don’t be nice, don’t be fake. However, do be kind.
Not being nice is all about your intent. If your intent is to malign another, then you have a lot more work to do on a spiritual path. Loving-kindness is a great part of what a spiritual path teaches. It does not teach to be nice. I don’t do nice. I say what I feel. If you don’t like me being nasty, then keep your commitments or don’t take advantage of my kindness because you perceive it as weakness. I do love and sometimes, it’s tough Love.