Sunday, November 25, 2007

On Being Nice

I received a note today from a friend, a nice note, that said among other things that I am kind, serious, gentle, and generous.

Those are wonderful traits to be seen to carry.

But tonight, at the end of a long day, towards the end of a long year, I am beginning to wonder if gentle and kind haven't taken me about as far as they can on their own?

As the foundations of my childrens' world crumble – last Friday the World Meteorologic Organization reported that CO2 levels hit a record high this year – I am starting to search for other parts of myself, beyond gentle and kind.

I like my gentle, kind self, and all the gentle souls around me, good people with high hopes.

But in the midst of a social and economic system that creates unquenchable thirsts – for stuff, for possession, for power – maybe I (maybe you, too?) need to expand my identity to become gentle, kind, and generous, but also strong and unafraid of being thought 'not nice.' Still kind, still gentle, but using the voice mothers everywhere use to say, "enough is enough."

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