Suyin Aerts
August 21, 2020

Is kindness being nice?

I am happy and proud to be a mentor to other women. I was talking with my mentee Daria about the lack of kindness and compassion in politics some weeks ago. Daria has amazing challenging plans and wants to make the mindset change in politics. She dreams of making us human beings think in circles rather than in boxes. I am always happy to listen to her and hope that I can help her thinking big. And let me not shout out to loud, but I am so convinced that we will hear so much about her in the future.

Talking about compassion made me think of the façade some people have, that big fake smile of being nice. That reaching out to others, that networking with a specific very selfish goal of being seen with the right people. Have you ever been hurt by that kind of nice people? Some or so good at this game that they can for months, sometimes years fool you with their nice-ness.

I prefer compassioned people, people that can leave the brain behind sometimes and listen with their hearts. I love those smart and true spirits.

I am polite for sure, but when I wear a fake smile, it is only on a film set.

I can imagine some people will not like me for that, but I prefer people that respect me than people that like me. Yes, people that really know me, will confirm I might sometimes be able to say the unpopular things if they are my honest reflection of my truth.

I prefer being authentic rather than being nice. But I am convinced that I am a kind and compassionate person. What you see is what you get, unless you ask me to play a role as an actress, than I follow the script.

I hope I can continue doing what feels right to me, even if sometimes it is not the easiest option. I hope I can continue giving that genuine smile without an agenda, and do not worry I do not want something in return.

And I recently read something very true: that we need to learn to foresee space for others unpleasant emotions without a reaction, without advice but with support. That is the person I want to be for my friends, sincere, truthful, and brave. And I am still a work in progress.

But thumbs up for Daria that has the big mission of bringing compassionate leaders back to politics. So maybe we need to stop voting for nice people.

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