Where's the Love Y'All... Is Kindness Really Gone??

It seems that kindness has become a bad word. It's not a new concept, this idea that being kind - or worst 'nice' - is not cool or hip, but it certainly has become more of the norm these days. In my childhood, my Grandmother used to tell me that she took offence when someone called her 'gentile' in Italian, which literally means 'kind' but in her view actually meant "so dumb they can try to pull the wool over my eyes and then I'll have to set them straight and that's just so much effort" or something to that effect... Although that's a bit extreme, I admit, it is something I may have in the back of my mind, subconsciously sending me messages to stop smiling at old ladies on the street and avoid being so damn 'nice' all the time.

But life always has a way to set you straight, when your thinking is out of wack. So, I've been hearing lately of some folks out there whose lives are not only dedicated to entertaining us - which is already an act of kindness in itself - but they also give their extra time to making the world a better place for humankind. Recently, I've really gotten into the music of the Black Eyed Peas. I know, I know, I'm about 10 years late, but that's how it goes in NinaLand. I'm either way ahead of the times, or way behind the trends. Usually both of those at once... But I digress.

Back to the BEP and their wonderful music. Good enough to guarantee their karmas on this earth is assured to bring them back as highly inspired humans or above in the next life, right?! Well, actually for band member and founder Will.i.am it doesn't seem to be enough, considering he's now started the I.am Home Fund to help needy families finally achieve the joys of homeownership. Kudos to one nice guy and I definitely mean it as a compliment!

Then I heard on Oprah - indeed that crossroads of information for a woman who needs a tea break right around 4 pm, after seemingly endless writing - about another fab guy to add to my collection: Tyler Perry. Forget the fact that I've had a crush on the man - drags and all, as his alter-ego the bigger than life Madea - since 'Diary of a Mad Black Woman', but here is a man who truly defines kindness. His persona, his mannerisms, his voice and his message are never aggressive and he doesn't wear a chip on his shoulder. These days he's been actively, though silently, helping the displaced in Haiti, ever since that horrific earthquake. He's also opened up even more about the abuse he suffered as a child but still managed to overcome and go on to become a successful man and a great human being. I nominate Tyler Perry for a NICE award! And Spike Lee, back off! We all love you too, though not exactly for being a nice guy...

The great thing about finding role models - mine may seem a bit odd for an Italian woman but we don't always pick our heroes, at times they pick us - is that they inspire you to do better, to be better, just by their inhabiting the world. I am slowly beginning to forget and forgo those anxieties at my own over-niceness and now find it absolutely OK to open doors for people who may not always say 'Thank You' in return, or treat a friend to an evening out, even if money's tight this month...

So just who is your favorite good guy or nice girl these days?

Images courtesy of CelebritySunglassesFinder.com and TylerPerry.com


  1. Hi, Nina! Lovely post--it's always nice to hear of people with a 'backing' behind them using their public status for a good cause. Wish more people in the spotlight would be like that. I'm in awe of Elaine Hendrix's (The Parent Trap, What The Bleep and more recently 90210) work with animals, and raising awareness toward animal cruelty. She's just set up her own organization, Animal Rescue Corps (ARC), which is a nonprofit animal protection organization that rescues animals due to abuse and natural disasters. She is gaining a lot of press and momentum for the cause. Got to love that.

    You know, I missed Tyler Perry on Oprah. And I meant to watch that one, too.

    And Black Eyed Peas... meh, I can take them or leave them. But when they first started out, I loved them. Go figure?!

  2. Anything P... It is indeed! Probably a favorite of mine....

    And JoAnne, so great to hear from you! Ms. Hendrix sounds like a true inspiration. Will look up her work. Meanwhile, wanted to thank you for stopping by and you can watch the piece on Tyler Perry online, I imagine. Oprah's site has the whole thing, in pieces! Hugs and thanks!

  3. Nina, LOVED this article! It's also good to hear about the fund I.AM has started!

  4. Thanks Kanwal! I love giving people, though it's getting harder and harder to find them... But thank you for giving the gift of your visit to the PopCultureDivas!!

  5. Enjoyed reading Nina. You know we have this "Giving Campaign" at work, where employees donate to an NGO to help those that are less fortunate. We have to do so much convincing to make people give generously....it amazes me! I believe in kindness, and cant understand people who dont...and yes no one should forget Karma!!

  6. I think you're my favorite "good guy" for having the guts to say something. It feels like there is no kindness today - it's very rare and it makes me so sad. I try to smile at everybody and try to get them to smile back - it often works.

  7. Sometimes people give to feel good themselves and that's the key to giving I think. Give to feel more beautiful! Lovely article Nina.

  8. Hello Swati,

    Thanks so much for your comment, it did manage to stick here as well but thanks for reposting it on FB. Karma is a big one in doing right, but for me not the only reason... I find it so much easier to be kind... It's so difficult to be mean and snippy.

    And thank you Kathy for the lovely nomination. I am not worthy but if the award is anything like an Oscar, I'll take it. From you tho, not James Franco :-)) And it's indeed so easy to smile!

    And Kriti dear, what a lovely way to put it. Give to feel more beautiful. Should be a great incentive, if only people realized how true it is!

    Thank you all for reading and commenting. Truly means the world!!

  9. Lovely post Nina!

    I love your Nonna's attitude - mine was just like that too. :D

    I too am the same as you - the gal who smiles at everyone - always polite/holds open the doors - etc...

    I like being that way - I think it's a good way to be. :D

    So keep being you Nina! The lovely bright star you are!



Post a Comment

We would love to hear from you but hope you are a real person and not a spammer. :)

Popular Posts