Niceness isn't usually seen as very radical. At school we are told that its a word that we shouldn't use as its not discriptive enough, nice doesn't get things done, it doesn't get your way, it doesn't change anything.
However, I am increasingly wondering if we (western society) are in need of a radical new niceness. The kind of 'niceness' that makes us stop and say thank you to the bus driver/cleaner/shop-assisant, or the kind of niceness that apologies when we bump into people and smile at strangers in the street (in a non-creepy way). Personally, I think that this kind of niceness makes the world a happier, sunnier place. In fact, I think this kind of niceness spreads, and makes us all better people, and therefore makes the world a better place.
I'm increasingly thinking about the importance of niceness in our activism. As in, niceness to those who think differently to us, or those are standing in the way of good change. I really believe that niceness and generally friendlyness (is that a word? It definatly isn't spelled right) will increase our effictiveness as we try to impliment real change in the world. Sometimes, the aggressive of left wing or feminist activists (I say sometimes and not all the time) can allienate those who may have been on our side, or who may have just had some sympathy with our cause. Courtisy, offers of friendship, and a willingness to explain or perspective can go a long way.
Niceness is necessary with those who we fundamentally disagree with, who probably will never 'come around'. Sometimes we will have to accept that we disagree about something big and important, and just carry on being nice to each other. People are suprised by niceness.
What do you think? Can we change the world just by being nice?