birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Honestly Nice?

Nice. I am nice. That's what people say about me, and it's true that I am consistently nice to everyone--the clerk at the checkout counter, the police officer who pulls me over for a broken headlight, my friends and family.

But am I really nice? Is that who I really am? Is it a persona I have adopted rather than an innate part of my soul? I sometimes wonder if I am faking "nice" as a way to keep people happy with me and to charm my way out of potentially troublesome situations. Maybe I am nice because I think there is a cosmic reward for being so? Maybe I am nice because I want others to be nice to me?

Being nice does come naturally to me and smiling is easy. I genuinely want to make others happy, even when I am unhappy myself. And being nice has been a great defense against those who are being un-nice--you catch more flies with honey than vinegar, right? But who wants flies?

Truth is, I am not faking nice, but I am faking honesty. I often find myself being nice to people rather than genuine, and that is troublesome to me. I want to be true nice, honest nice, genuine nice. I want to be "authentic" and when I am not it feels fake and hollow. So I will work on keeping the niceness but making it genuine and intentional and, most of all, honest.


Going Nowhere Fast