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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Nice and Not-so-Nice…

By Rick Blumenberg / @RickBlumenberg
There are two kinds of people in the world (sure you’ve heard that before)—there are those who are “nice” and those who are “not-so-nice”. My mom’s been in heaven for decades but I still remember that she didn’t think there were any really bad people in the world just people who were not behaving like they knew they ought to. So as a nod to Mom, instead of saying nice or nasty people, (she would not be happy with me if I said it like that) I’ll call them "Nice“ and “Not-so-Nice”. I thank God for her teaching and example because she helped me understand that even those people who are “not-so-nice” are people loved by God and created in his image.
And when you think about it, most of us are neither totally “nice”, nor totally “not-so-nice”—we are mostly somewhere in between.
We find these two kinds of people in all races and all religions, in both genders, all family groups and in every diverse kind of people we can imagine. If we would stop categorizing people according to race, gender, religion, etc., and just think of them as either “nice” or “not-so-nice” we’d all be a lot better off.
Of course we would still have our problems because not everybody is nice. They could be if they wanted to, but some of them don’t. The great thing about these two kinds of people is that we can choose which group we want to be in. We're all in some groups where we don’t have a choice. I didn’t choose my gender, my skin color or the country where I would be born. Many people think we can't choose our sexual preference, but I really think that is a choice. I could be wrong about that, but I know for sure that each of us can choose to be nice if we want to. Or, we can instead choose to be nasty or not-so-nice.
Because there are people in every society who refuse to be nice, we sometimes have to do things to protect ourselves from each other. Thankfully we have families, churches, schools, and various other organizations to help us deal with those “not-so-nice” people and in the extreme situations we have police and the military to protect us from them. Most of the police and the military in our nation are in the “nice” category, but they can be pretty firm if necessary when dealing with “not-so-nice” people and sometimes the results can be painful. Unfortunately, a few of the people in power, whether they be police or military, employers, parents, politicians, etc.,  are “not-so-nice” and the powerless or less powerful need to be protected from them.
I could name some “not-so-nice” people, but I won’t because you all know some so you know what I mean. However, after writing this article and thinking I really need an illustration to make it complete, Carol (my wife) shared an article with me she found on the internet about Andrew luck, star quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts. He is one rough and tough football player and isn’t afraid to mix it up with the best of them, but what the article was about was his style of “trash talk”. According to Kevin Clark, the author, (Nice Trash Talker, Andrew Luck) when Luck gets hit really hard he is likely to yell at the player who hit him and say, “Great job!” or “What a hit!”
Clark writes
When New England pass rusher Rob Ninkovich pulverized Luck last month in a Patriots’ 42-20 win, he got the customary congratulations. As Ninkovich tells it, he found himself paralyzed with confusion by the well-wishes, so he blurted out “Thanks for...uh...accepting that hit?” before running back to the huddle.
It doesn’t matter what color we are, what job we do or just about any other real or imagined division we experience, there are “nice” and “not-so-nice” people in all groups.
I don’t always succeed, but I always try to be in the “nice” group and I hope you will too. We do have a choice.
I'm Rick Blumenberg and that's My View from Tanner Creek.


Anonymous said...

By the time I met Mrs. Molly she was already in a fairly advanced stage I Alzheimer's. She was still so sweet. I love it when everyone shares stories because I share them with my kiddos. It helps them to see the good heritage they have! We discuss how important it is to leave a good Christian heritage for THEIR future children & grandchildren. �� Laryssa

Rick Blumenberg said...

Thanks for sharing this Laryssa. I wish you could have known Mom before she had alzheimer's. But you're right. Even until the last she was a gentle loving person and loved by everyone in the nursing home. I'm glad too, that you're sharing the family stories with your children. That's an important part of family life.