[dropcap]N[/dropcap]iceness. What makes some people so bone-crushingly nice? I’m not talking about polite folks who say thank you and please. I’m talking about people who are so genial, so personable, so selfless and kind, they’re super-human.


Of course, here in the South, the word “nice” doesn’t mean nice at all. It’s Southern-speak for something much more serious. When a Southerner calls someone “nice,” what they mean is: “This person is so generous, they deserve happiness, pretty babies, and their own book in the Bible.”

And it’s true, these people deserve such things, because too few of them exist it seems. My guess would be, the percentage of “nice” people in the world – and I know I’m practicing statistics without a license here – is somewhere around six percent.

Maybe lower.

The truth is, I wish I were like these folks, but I’m not. I often get grumpy when I don’t have enough sleep. Which isn’t nice. Nice people don’t do that. They don’t get cranky. Not ever. Not even if they’ve been awake for three days straight, have a broken ankle, and an incurable case of the Egyptian yellow fever.

I don’t know what makes these people tick. They have the same problems I have, they sit through the same traffic jams I do, and they pay the same property taxes I pay. But they’re not bitter about it. They’ll give you anything they own, even money from their pockets. And they’ll do it in a way that won’t make you feel ashamed, but inspired. They’re just nice.

They make me want to get more sleep.

So I can be nice too.


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