NAUGHTY OR NICE


Tootling through the Poppies  KSR

To paraphrase David Brooks:  Most of us think we are pretty wonderful.  We try to balance our virtuous self-image with our selfish desires, and keep our  image in positive territory.  We give ourselves permission to cheat a little because when we look at our overall life we see that we’re still a good person.

Most of us measure ourselves leniently.  This is what Yom Kipper and the confessional are for.

When I was a child I had a small book called “The Naughty or Nice Book”.  The naughty part showed a little girl who did not make her bed and did not match her newly washed socks and put them away,  so was not permitted to attend her own birthday party (which was in full swing in an adjoining  room,)  until those chores  were done.  I could identify with that girl.  And besides she probably got cake and ice cream later anyway.

The naughty girl impressed me so much That I don’t remember exactly what the nice litle girl did that was so nice.

I have a friend who says she is thoughtful but not nice.  She unfailingly remembers everyone’s birthday dates even if she has just met them.  Quite amazing considering she is nearly 90.  She says her gift is dates but she can’t remember anything else worthwhile.

My friends are mostly all nice with a little naughty thrown in.    “Nothing wondrous can come in this world unless it rests on the shoulders of kindness.”