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I love this virtue. It’s so simple and sweet, yet profound. It gives me such a beautiful way to approach life, my interactions with other people, and myself too. It provides such an easy way to reflect on an action or statement: “Is this nice?” Taking the time to be nice is such a powerful way to create ripples of kindness in this world.
Many years ago Baba Muktananda responded to a letter I sent him. In his response Baba wrote, "You are a nice man." I was taken aback and didn't accept it as a compliment. In America we have a saying (first used in a sports context): "Nice guys finish last." And that was how I saw it. I thought Baba had made a mistake because he was not completely familiar with American culture and language.
It took a long time for me to realize that Baba didn't make mistakes! And it wasn’t until I saw that Gurumayi includes niceness among the
the divine virtues, that I realized that Baba had meant his response as high praise. Now I am so grateful. This new understanding gives me many things to contemplate—including the value of the Guru's words.
New York, United States
In this warm afternoon, after four hours of scything, I went to the border of the nearby river to clean and sharpen my scythe. I noticed the high wild grasses on the narrowest part of the riverside pathway where the motorized mower can’t work. I remembered that every day an old woman walks on this pathway, and at the same time I recalled today’s virtue, niceness. And so, I took my scythe and cleared the pathway, filled with the happiness that comes from serving humanity, from being nice.
Niceness seems like such a simple thing, but has such an amazing impact. When I am nice to my music students, they relax and enjoy their music lessons more. When I'm nice to people I work with, the atmosphere is calmer, and tasks get done with greater ease and efficiency. When I'm nice to myself, negative judgment falls away. Each simple act of being nice perpetuates more niceness.
West Vancouver, Canada
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