The Participation Blog

You Don’t Necessarily Have to be Nice

Someone that I was working with recently suggested, in a snarky kind of way, that engaging the public boils down to just being nice to them. Of course, there’s a teensy more to it than that which prompted a conversation about the meaning of nice. We all know nice people; in fact, you might be one. I can’t say that I’d characterize myself as nice, although I believe that I usually try to be. As kids, most of us probably heard our mom admonishing us to be nice when we weren’t. It’s nice to deal with nice people. There’s certainly nothing wrong with nice, but it’s always felt a little superficial to me. I’d suggest that the space we work in requires something beyond nice: kindness.