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Just Be Nice!


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Had a great laugh last night when I attended a performance of an English comedian named Ross Noble. He was quite hilarious and interacted brillantly with the audience.

 

Anyway, the subject matter turned to religion and Ross came out with the line about the only religion being needed was "Just Be Nice". "Wouldn't it be nice" he said, "If the Pope and all other religous leaders came out and said Just Be Nice. If you don't want to go to Hell, Just Be Nice".

 

Then he joked about the audience taking his words as enlightening, setting up a Church in his name, asking him to be their religous leader, then making up a bunch of rules about how Ross wants us to live our lives!

 

For many here it's probably no particular revelation that organised religion and even dare I say the cult of Jesus worship, has done anything but encourage others to just be nice to their fellow humans. Gays - can't be nice to them. Unwed mothers - can't be nice to them. How about indigenous savages, strange cultures, drug addicts and alcoholics? The list would be miles long of people who haven't been treated well because religous beliefs have taught many people that there are different castes of humans: The In-group, and then there's the 'others'.

 

Again, no particular revelation here, but wouldn't it be terrific if the ONLY message from religous leaders was "Just Be Nice".

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Hi Paul, don't know if you've had Ricky Gervais's new series over there - 'Derek'?

 

The main character has a learning disabilty, and in the final episode he had a little monologue about religion. his conclusion - 'just be nice'.

 

There was another great line where a Karl Pilkington's character described prayer as a 'posh moan' :)

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Haven't heard of 'Derek' but will keep my eyes peeled. Loved The Office (English version).

 

A 'posh moan' - I like that. Somebody else described prayer somewhere as "sorry, sorry, sorry, please, please, please". :)

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I was reading an article...... that essentially said ...



"If you're looking for a mood shift on a cranky day, try holding the door open for a stranger, popping a coin in an expiring parking meter, or just being, well, nice to someone else."


Supposely, a New York University study has found that performing "small acts of kindness" can make you happy - and not just in the moment - but a big enough dose to inspire a happiness high for months.


Joseph


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I was reading an article...... that essentially said ...

"If you're looking for a mood shift on a cranky day, try holding the door open for a stranger, popping a coin in an expiring parking meter, or just being, well, nice to someone else."

Supposely, a New York University study has found that performing "small acts of kindness" can make you happy - and not just in the moment - but a big enough dose to inspire a happiness high for months.

Joseph

Not only does it take away your attention on your own problems for a bit, you have initiated a chain reaction of kindness. You would be surprised how that smile or small gesture can evolve through other people to help their friends/associates and so on.

 

And I am reminded of a great saying: "As you think, so shall you be."

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Why does it seem to me that some people always seem to bring up the gays, indigenous peoples, etc as examples of groups that religious people hate? That is not the case at all. But these people, who claim to be so compassionate and loving, are the ones doing the racist dividing and picking out one "group" after another as an example of how they are different and then therefore "hated". Who's doing the hating and dividing and pitting one "group" against another?

 

What religious leaders and by the way, it starts with the individual, should always be is human. "Being nice" is so nice it almost makes me want to go get the Pepto Bismal. There should never be political agendas or ideological, ego-driven motives with respect to whom we give our attention. It always should be because we "are" that person. It goes both ways. We are all connected and we all have our stories. For instance, here's my take to say the gays and lesbians who seem to be everywhere shoving it in my face (and I know it's not "the gays and lesbians" per say, but I'm trying to make a point here and it is my impression that I can't go anywhere these days without social and other traditional forms of media reminding me that transgenders are people, too) that I treat them differently and I am a douchebag. Here's my reply: I don't care that you like girls and you don't get to be special because of it and I don't get to be the hated "whitey" or privileged middle class made to feel guilty because I like boys. You are you and I am me. Let's move beyond this silly external stuff and get down to the basics of human love and compassion. NO agendas here, mate.

 

We don't need to prove anything to anyone. Ever. We need to accept our selves, beauty marks and warts. We need to be open and honest. We need to see each physical human including ourselves as part of us. We feel the same things as anyone else. And if I hear about the gays or the natives again, it just makes me sad. We are missing the focus. We are missing what Jesus said. It is not about raising one group over another and making the other feel bad. That's child's play and a sure sign of immaturity. Why, oh why, does it seem to always be about us vs. them?

 

We are looking at things from an ego perspective way too much, IMHO. It is time to disintegrate the ego.

Edited by Diamond
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Amy,

 

Thanks for sharing your honest feelings. I think what you are saying in a sense Paul is recorded saying...... that it is time to move on from the "milk" to the "meat". Unfortunately, it seems to me, the ego does need separation to exist and therefore feeds on such causes that may have the appearance of compassion and love yet as you say may actually divide by making an us and a them. That is certainly food for thought.

 

May we all come to see the subtle devices of that in us all that serve to separate under the pretense of love or compassion. For it is in the recognition of it that the light of consciousness is able to illuminate and transmute that subtle darkness into true unity.

 

Joseph

Edited by JosephM
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People being the diverse bunch we are, our definitions of 'niceness' also differ. Has anyone else experienced a situation where someone's actions seem super-nice and at the same time somewhat burdensome? I'm thinking of cases where a visitor showered me with gifts and where a neighbor's 'morning tea' was so elaborate I felt I could never reciprocate.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Paul, interesting post. Since many of the other responses have covered much of the overall answer I think ill add a little controversy. When I read the Bible, I dont see Jesus as always being nice. When he cursed that olive tree he seemed plain grumpy! :-) Also, with my kids I realize its nearly impossible to be nice when my overall goal is to be loving. Can "just be nice" really work? Maybe, but this human would fall short too often, even when I am ultimately trying to help. I recall CS Lewis saying something like most people didnt want God the Father, but rather God the sweet old great-grandfather who just wanted everyone to be happy. Although I don't belive the Bible is in any way direct words from God, when it comes to the OT I dont see much of God having niceness as his primary concern.

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Eric,

 

I don't know whether Jesus really did curse an olive tree or not, or if that's some story somebody inserted into the narrative to make a point. Whether Jesus had a mean streak or not to me is irrelevant concerning this post - I think "Just be nice" could probably apply to Jesus too. And I agree with you that the God of the OT didn't seem to have niceness as His primary concern, but I think that's more reflective of man's interpretation of God during various cultures and times that found violence justified, rather than what any OT God was actually about.

 

I still think the concept is sound - just being nice and treating others as you would have them treat you is a worthy endeavour and if that's all people did in the name of religion then I think the world would be a much better place for it than it is today.

 

Cheers

Paul

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I feel when we are acting from the inside out even if we are angry it is being nice if that is what is needed. The problem is if we are drawn out and get angry then we are acting from the outside in. I feel Christ consciousness is acting from the inside out. We are centered. The good thing is consciousness is infinite so everyone becomes a center because pure consciousness expands to infinity in all directions.

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Soma and Paul,

 

You both make very valid points. Maybe I went too far to add some literal Christian interpretations to the mix, which I also agree are likely not literal or even historical, but I was trying to have a bit of fun by citing NT, OT, and CS which may be hard to get across in the essence of a forum post. I agree 100% that being nice would get us into the right direction, as long as someone like Hitler didnt think he was "being nice" to his people by getting rid of all those Jews...even if he was wholeheartedly acting from the inside out in his own warped way. Could the word "nice" be too subjective?

 

Eric

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consciousness is infinite so everyone becomes a center because pure consciousness expands to infinity in all directions.

 

soma, it would be intersting to get a follow up on what you mean by the bolded bit in the statement quoted.

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E=MC2......Energy is changing into matter and matter is changing into energy. I feel consciousness is a nice word to use for subtle energy. Everything is made up of energy or in my term consciousness from subtle to crude. Infinite is not measurable: without any finite or measurable limits so we can say it is infinite in every direction. A finite circle has a center, but an infinity is infinite in every direction means that every thing is the center of that infinity because it is infinite in every direction.

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