Illogical And Insane
Sitting here pondering on things, it occurred to me that one of the greatest problems humanity has is its illogical and insane obsession to ‘play nice’. You see, there’s a whole heap of difference between ‘playing nice’ and ‘being respectful’. Both start out being right similar in intent, which is to encourage both children and adults to get along with each other. However, they then diverge down very different paths.
As a child, virtually every soul in the world – in one language or another – has been to told to ‘play nice’ with things and people. And that instruction carries on throughout our lifetimes. We have to play nice at home, in public, at school and at work. In fact, we even have things called laws to force people to ‘play nice’.
A Matter Of Convenience
Now, playing nice first came about more as matter of convenience than as a weapon of social disintegration. It was first an abbreviated form of “Behave, or I’m going lay a whipping on your patooty!” that made parents lives easier. In just two words children were reminded to behave – or else – using that age old inference of ‘if you know what’s good for you’.
Well, it weren’t too long before religions discovered the power of ‘play nice’ to control people and right behind them came monarchies. All of them telling folks to ‘play nice’ as a way of stopping them from unleashing their hearts desires. And so today, ‘play nice’ has become synonymous with “Shut your trap and do as you’re told, or else!”
Used To Make Us Suppress Our Feelings
But playing nice is exactly what it says, it’s ‘playing’. It’s fake. It demands that we lie. It demands us to make-believe; to act quite contrary to our true feelings. It requires hiding what we think, how we feel and what we’d like to say and do. Tragically, it’s used to make us suppress our feelings and put aside all that’s curious, creative, good and wise.
Psychiatrists and psychologists both swear that avoiding reality and suppressing our feelings is terribly bad for us, which in my experience is absolutely right. So, that means advising children and adults to ‘play nice’ is – hands down – some of the world’s worst possible darn advice. For telling folks to play nice demands that they avoid reality and prevent confrontation, but reality is honesty and confrontation’s a real important learning tool that we’re all being robbed of.
Confrontation Doesn’t Employ Violence
Contrary to popular belief, confrontation doesn’t employ violence, it employs courage. Confrontation allows each of us to fearlessly and assertively express our individual points of view as part of collective thought. It exposes us to different people’s perceptions and understandings and them to ours, while allowing us to retain who and what we are.
Confrontation’s honest expression that teaches us to be right respectful about it in order to avoid the continued need for dusting off our rear ends. It’s standing our ground and insuring that our point of view is heard and matters. And confrontation calls out monsters for doing monstrous things and being the dirty dastards that they are.
Playing nice just allows rotten bastards to do rotten things in rotten ways for rotten reasons and then when anger erupts, all that they need to do is wave their ‘play nice’ magic wand and magically everyone lets them get away with it. In short, playing nice defies nature’s ‘pecking order’, keeps monsters safe and retains people in the gene pool that the pool would be heap less shitty without.
Respect Builds Bridges
And so, I reckon that playing nice is bloody well destroying us and our entire world, while ‘being respectful’ asks nothing more of us than honest communication and mutual consideration. Respect builds bridges, opens doors and sets people free to be who they believe themselves to be. Respect prevents harm, heals and builds a better world. But, instead of being told to respect each other, we’re told to play nice, so I reckon that it’s high time we forever change the darn narrative.
Dang playing nice…