In school, I was the student who was nice to substitute teachers. While a lot of my classmates took advantage of a free range day in class without the “real” teacher there, I dutifully obeyed whatever instructions the sub laid out for us.
Make no mistake, this did not earn me cool points with my peers. In fact, being “nice” has somewhat carried a negative connotation for me my whole life.
Recently, two friends remarked I was “like a dog, I was so loyal.” They didn’t mean any ill-intent by this comment but I was instantly taken back to my classroom days, helping substitute teachers figure out how to turn on the overhead projector (remember those?!) and getting mildly made fun of for being a teacher’s pet.
In all honestly, there were times when I tried to abandon my nice girl ways. Most of my friends were way cooler than I was. I joke now that I wasn’t a cool kid in school, I just somehow – gracefully – made friends with some key cool kids who wore the right clothes, made the right jokes, and didn’t seem to have the sensitive streak or emotional attachment that I did…
I’ve never really been able to flee too far from my nice-girl ways. But I’m starting to embrace this side. Some may see it as a sign of weakness but I disagree. To me, kindness is the greatest strength of all.
I think we are generally seeing a shift towards this realization in our Western culture. There are things like the Kind Campaign and a growing awareness surrounding bullying. I see my friends who are parents striving to teach their kids about compassion and being inclusive.
It just may be becoming cool to be kind; and for once I can say, I was ahead of the curve.
** Note this blog went through a rebrand and is now veg vibes; which aligns better with the direction I organically gravitated towards. It’s all about your vibe.**