Many years ago while out jogging, I ran into a store because I had to pee badly. The person at the counter was a middle-aged woman with a thick southern accent and a smile on her face that would light up any room. I asked if they had a bathroom I could use, and the cheerful woman informed me that the bathroom was for customers only. I explained to her that I did not have my wallet on me, but otherwise I would be happy to buy something. Without dropping her smile, she said “I am sorry about that sir, but the restrooms are for customers only. Have a wonderful day.” I really didn’t detect any sarcasm or bitterness; she was simply a really nice person who didn’t care about my problems in the least bit. My fourth-grade teacher was the opposite of the counter lady. He was a mean bastard that nobody liked very much, but went out of his way to work with students to make sure they understood the material. He was even known to show up at the students’ houses on the weekends (uninvited) for one-on-one tutoring sessions for those who he felt needed it. This teacher was not pleasant nor was he agreeable—he was, as we put in the fourth grade—a dick. But he was a kind dick who cared more about the well-being of his students than any other teacher I have ever had. On the last day of school, this mean bastard cried like a baby.
Too few people understand that there is a difference between being nice and being kind. Niceness is behavior expressed in facial expressions and language that results in a positive experience, whereas kindness is behavior expressed in action resulting in a positive experience. While similar, acts of kindness generally lead to far greater positive experiences with more utility. Niceness can often be shallow, unauthentic, and useless. Here are some examples:
Reason: Book I - A Critical Thinking-, Reason-, and Science-based Approach to Issues That Matter is based on the first two years of The Dr. Bo Show, where Bo takes a critical thinking-, reason-, and science-based approach to issues that matter with the goal of educating and entertaining. Every chapter in the book explores a different aspect of reason by using a real-world issue or example.
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