We have #yestoallwomen and #notallmen, but no conversations about what it is like to be a decent human being with a big heart. We don’t see people who think and act beyond themselves. There is no hashtag to celebrate the nice, quiet things that people do for one another because it is the right thing to do. And I can only imagine that the online coverage of misogyny is frustrating for those people who occupy the “boring middle” where they go to work, do their homework, feed their kids, pay their bills, love their pets, and try to stay out of trouble.
The media makes it worse.
Consumer media, corporate storytelling and cynical marketing campaigns tell us the extreme sides of all stories. Even in the massive coverage of Elliot Roger, which has really important implications, we see crazy examples of archetypes and personae that do not really match with what many of us experience in our daily lives.
So let me tell you that, right off the bat, I recognize your goodness and your humanity. You are normal, your family is great, and the safe and boring life you have created for your children is meaningful. Although you never get credit for being a competent and reliable human being, you should continue to be a nice person because it pays off.
- It pulls you through the tough times.
- Creates life-long friendships.
- Endears you to friends and enemies alike.
- Allows people to err on the side of trust instead of suspicion.
- Makes people smile.
- Demonstrates that you are approachable.
- Softens the blow when you deliver bad news.
- Gives you access to different people and new places.
- Works wonders when you screw up.
- Encourages people to love you and dream with you.
Be a nice person. I promise you. It works. And I see you for your goodness and appreciate it.