Just Be Nice

This week a video of a boy in tears talking about being bullied went viral. Celebrities and athletes posted messages of support in response. For one brief moment there was a flood if niceness on the Internet. It was a brief moment, however, because we can’t have nice things. I took a look at Twitter today and saw that there is now controversy about the boy and his family.

There are photos of the family with Confederate flags with a message of intolerance towards those who don’t like the flag.

There was a Go Fund Me page that reached $56,000 before it was paused. The person who started it does not know the family and no decision has been made on what to do with the money.

People are angry that celebrities responded with kindness toward the kid because his family might be racists. People are asking them if they are sorry they offered support or invited him to movie premieres, etc. Out brief period of niceness was over.

My question – why can’t we just be nice?  Nothing changes what we saw in a video – A kid in tears because he is being bullied. Are we supposed to be OK with the bullying because we don’t like his family? Are we supposed to vet everyone before we have any sympathy toward them? Is it not possible that human kindness could counteract the negative views he might be exposed to?

Can’t we just live by the standard of “just be nice”?

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5 Comments

  1. Well, I heard that he was being retaliated against for his starting the bullying. That he was calling black kids the N word, so they were then bullying back. So, it’s not just because of the racist family, but that he basically started it, then tried to make out that he was the victim.

  2. I am with you…just be nice.

    When I was growing up, the only infraction that was guaranteed to result in a spanking was rudeness. If my grandmother said “nice don’t cost nothin’ ” once, she said it a billion times. It didn’t matter whether I agreed with someone, condoned their lifestyle, called them friend, or hated them I was required to be courteous…no matter what.

    There is little in this world that can make me more furious than for someone to back me into a corner and not take a courteous “no” or “we should agree to disagree” for an answer. I know my behavior is ultimately my choice, but it feels like they are forcing me to be rude to extricate myself from a discourteous exchange.

    It isn’t always easy to be “nice” and some people call it “being fake”, but I was taught that common courtesy was the oil that kept the wheels of a society turning.

    It seems to me that common courtesy has become a super power only a few know how to use (even though it is available to all). Maybe that is one reason society seems to be falling off the wheels.

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