Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Fully Authentic

I've had enough with BE NICE philosophy. Yes, I know that everyone in this culture seems to live by it, but I think we would be so much better off and closer to peace if we would be Fully Authentic.

Joran is Fully Authentic. He's not yet spoiled by cultural and parental pressure to BE NICE so that others can feel good. Deep down, he must know that making others feel good is not his responsibility, and he creates many opportunities to remind me and others along his path of this fact. In the past, I have described Joran as intense and sometimes explosive, but forget it! We can all be intense and explosive when we are trying to be authentic in the face of overwhelming social pressure to BE NICE.

Trying to BE NICE only leads to resentment, because not everyone is nice all of the time. Not everyone is nice when we need them to be nice, so we are left with a bitter taste in our mouths. We want revenge. "Well, if my neighbor wasn't nice to me, why should I be nice to him?!" we ask ourselves. Then it unfolds to more blanket statements like, "The customers aren't nice to me, so I shouldn't have to be nice to them!" And then there are the times when BE NICE philosophy collapses on our families, "I'm not going to be nice to my kids when they are being so disrespectful of me!" Does "vicious circle" come to mind?

BE NICE is pretty hard to let go of after having it drilled into us for a lifetime. Maybe it helps to remember that when those helpful folks were trying to teach us to BE NICE, they probably weren't being very nice themselves. What were the "real" lessons of BE NICE? And does it make any sense? The "real" lessons went something like this: "you be nice so my life will be a little easier," "you be nice so that I can feel good," "be nice so that I don't have to deal with my own emotions as I react to your words/behavior," "I am more mentally and physically developed than you, so I can make you be nice," "when you are bigger and more powerful, you can force others to behave the way you want them to behave," and so many more.

I think it's time for us to trust that our children are innately social and want to be a productive part of their community. Let us trust that they will do this when they are developmentally ready. Let us listen for the lessons the children have to teach us so that we might turn into ourselves to discover and sound the trumpet of our own authenticity. I believe that once we have our cultural blinders off, we will find that true authenticity speaks and acts with love.

With much appreciation for All That Is. All is well.

Jolene =)


  1. You are the best - I love you and I love your writing. Thanks for making me feel greater every day.


  2. Jolene, I agree with your husband here--I love your blog and I love you, and I don't even know you! I have really been appreciating your posts lately and this BE NICE blog was so perfectly what I needed to read today. Thanks for that.

    Hey, and we JUST discovered 'Oh the Places You'll Go', what a great book!

    All the best, Robin in Death Valley