The Beatles write:
There's nothing you can know that isn't known
Nothing you can see that isn't shown
There's nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be
All you need is love.
The Beatles were wrong. You need more than love. I know, I know; you want to believe it. I want to believe it. But it’s well known that we all tend to believe articles on the web that reinforce our viewpoints. And when we hear something as simple and hopeful as “All you need is love”, we just dive right on in.
But I think it can be dangerous.
Ask anyone who has gone through a divorce not because they despised each other, but because they grew apart. Ask anyone who is parent to a sick child (like a really sick one in the hospital). Love isn’t enough. Medicine is needed.
I don’t want to be a downer on love.
But I want to upgrade the word “Nice”. “Nice” gets a bad rap. It’s the inferior version of love. It’s the fake version of acceptance. But it may be all we need.
You see, I’ve found that being nice is often times enough to start the ball rolling. I’ve found this out the hard way – by not being nice. At times to my wife. And probably to my kids at times.
Love is easy. I love my wife. I love my kids. But niceness is how we show it. So when we’re not nice, we’re not showing our love-even if it exists whole heartedly.
So if we’re nice when we’re not quite feeling it, it can better engage the other person receiving it. And that feedback loop builds on itself. And eventually, we get through it. We get through whatever we’re going through, they get to help us.
Maybe it’s was a bad day today, but I bet if you pick your kid up and give them a big hug, tickle them to get the innate laughter out of them, your day will turn around a lot quicker than sulking and moaning.
Be nice when you don’t want to and see the world change.