If I could take one word out of the English language it would be ‘nice.’ I could quite easily lead a campaign against the word so passionate is my disdain for it. I hate nice! I hate being told to be nice, I hate the façade of nice, I hate that it is so nondescript. There’s something Stepford Wives about it. If nice were a colour it’d be beige – so neutral you barely notice it! It has no effect or influence on mood and probably resembles the closest colour there is to vomit. It’s just gross and makes me want to shudder and shake it off.
Nice for some reason seems to target and plague girls and it starts when they’re infants. It is used when someone snatched something they wanted off them and they turn to defend themselves. It is used when someone has come into the house they don’t feel comfortable with and can’t put their finger on why. When there’s been an injustice and they are advised to ‘just be nice.’ It becomes something they ‘should’ become and be in every moment of every day. It undercuts their ability to respond to things happening to and around them. Instead of standing up for themselves or listening to the quiet voice within, they learn to auto-response with ‘nice’. Nice puts up and shuts up. Nice has no volume and nice causes no offence – at least not to anyone else!
Being nice is a fool’s game. It’s an enormous wet blanket that puts out the flames. The only problem is who wants to raise girls that have no flame? That will learn to throw the wet blanket over themselves when they feel the flames rise in order to meet this ridiculous word’s standards. Let me tell you – no nice girls have changed the world! (No nice boys have either I might add!) Can we please stop telling our girls to ‘be nice’? It is the enemy of discernment and a lid on their possibilities. Where they could dare to tread and see change come for the greater good, do we really want them to sit down and ‘be nice’? I don’t!
I have been told to be nice. I have tried to be nice and you know what? It’s like wearing a wiggle dress in non-stretch fabric at bootcamp. It is restrictive, suffocating and completely impractical. Who ever won anything, changed anything, put an end to anything, or truly helped anyone by being ‘nice’? I can’t name one! It may surprise you to know I’ve at times been described by other women as a ‘nice’ person. (If you want to remain my friend please don’t ever call me that!) I like to write this off as a lack of vocabulary in that moment and usually take that opportunity to re-evaluate myself! Nice is unfortunately an easy spot to slip into – you start saying what people want to hear, don’t say anything that might rock the boat and add a thick layer of flattery to your conversations. So very beige and devoid of colour!
Now, let me clarify as I wind up this somewhat of a rant against ‘nice’… I am all for kindness. I am all for love – even love for your enemies kind of love. I am for fairness, truth telling, grace, self-control, mercy, goodness, second chances and multiple chances. I just cannot stand by though and allow girls to bow in the name of ‘nice’. To see them contort themselves into this fictitious and fractured form of nothingness to try and achieve it. We need to abolish this word and instruction as we raise and lead girls and women. Hear how God spoke to His daughters…
“Rise and thresh, Daughter Zion, for I will give you horns of iron; I will give you hooves of bronze, and you will break to pieces many nations. You will devote their ill-gotten gains to the LORD, their wealth to the Lord of all the earth.” (Micah 4:13).
Now that I can relate to, get behind and change the world with. Let’s arise and thresh and raise daughters and leaders who will also respond to this call and cause and when their flames arise they will respond with actions that will bring justice to injustice, right to wrongs and not be burying their heads under a wet blanket in an effort to be something they were never created to be. Nothing gets achieved under there! Let them be powerful. It’s their birthright. Release the daughters!
(photo is daughter #3 standing in front of daughter #1 and husband handing over weapons… this is how we roll!)