as a writer, i've been conditioned to avoid "nice" like the plague. nothing should ever be described as "nice" - except in dialogue - because "nice" is vague, ineffable. you can't point to something and say "that's what nice is."
but maybe, come to think of it, you can.
another hate crime is splashed across the cyber-scape: this one culminated in a young man's suicide. he was a college student, was good at music. his room-mate thought it would be funny to film a sexual encounter between this young man and another. when it was made public on the web, the young man killed himself.
whoever turned the webcam and thought it would be funny to film such a thing wasn't nice. that person was low and petty and mean and small-minded and deserves everything i hope the DA is about to throw at him. and her, because there was more than one person involved. but the question is, where did these kids - because they are kids - learn such behavior? where did they learn it's okay to be mean to someone?
my suspicion is they learned it from their parents.
my book club recently read a book called You're Wearing That? by Deborah Tannen. far be it from me to dispute ms tannen's findings, but if that's really how most mothers talk to most daughters, i guess i understand why the world is such a despicable place. there's a difference between disciplining a child and being mean to a child and if you're not sure what that difference is, here's a clue. put yourself in the child's place and imagine yourself on the receiving end of whatever it is you're saying. and for mothers with daughters - especially the ones who participated in ms tannen's study - here's another: as long as the child is dressed appropriately for the weather and her basic hygiene needs are met, allow her her own choices in clothing, hair and overall appearance. it's none of your business how anyone chooses to wear their hair, and that includes your kid's.
because mean matters. and nice counts.
and furthermore, the war will end. blessed be.