dear friends —
It’s interesting, isn’t it, that the word “nice” was originally connected to the word “stupid”? That’s what the OED says:
I, for one, don’t mess with the OED. That connection makes sense: being nice these days tends to be seen as something that you do when you’re too dumb to do anything else.
Towards the middle of the classic movie HARVEY, Jimmy Stewart — playing a character who may or may not be insane — says something like “in this world you have to be oh so pleasant or oh so clever, and I got tired of being clever.”
That’s kind of how I feel.
I spent years trying to be a smart as I could be because I was in the BE SMART business — namely I was a college professor. But now I’m in the creative writing business, and that calls for a whole ‘nother kind of smart.
Or does it?
I went to the American Writing Programs convention for the first time ever this past weekend in Boston, and guess what? I met an awful lot of nice people. They didn’t seem to be too worried about being smart enough or talented enough. But they sure loved making books, and helping to make books, and reading books and talking about books.
I came away with laryngitis and a bunch of books I didn’t know anything about before. And a bunch of ideas, and at least 2 new friends. Oh, and some cool buttons.
I got these things, in part, because I set the intention to just be and act “nice.” The other part of this was the grace of others, their kindness and graciousness.
Oh, and I also had great business cards, using a funny picture my daughter drew of me.
Nice of her to draw that picture, wasn’t it?