The older I get though, the more I realize being a nice girl isn’t always the right thing to be. Nice girls never make waves. Nice girls never speak up. Not for themselves, not against injustice. Nice girls keep their own views and ideas out of sight. They swallow their anger; they smile at the world even while their hearts break. They take a back seat to those more vocal.
I’ve decided a better thing to be is good, to be loving, to be kind. Good women, loving women give comfort where there is little to be had. Good women don’t hide from emotions but face them head on. Good women strive to make the world a better place, which sometimes means being a beacon, which sometimes means speaking up against injustice or wrong.
When I think of my heroes, I see how many of them were not nice girls who did as they were told so as not to make waves. When Rosa Parks took a seat at the front of the bus, she made lots of people uncomfortable. It wasn’t very nice of her to rock the status quo, but she cared about people and the injustice done to them. When Mother Theresa followed her calling to India, she stepped on few toes to get her work done. Some people didn’t much like a little nun telling them what to do. She did it anyway, because she knew in her heart it was right. When Susan B. Anthony fought for voting rights for women, she upset a lot of people who figured women were better off at home. She did it anyway, because it was the right thing to do.
I’m not Rosa Parks or Mother Theresa, or Susan B. Anthony. Far from it, I’m just a writer who imagines things, thinks up stories and hopes you will like them. But I also aspire, with all my heart, to use those lives as an example of what I do with my own life.
You don’t move the world forward by being nice. You do it by believing, by standing in the light, by trying hard to do the right thing. I’d like very much to leave the world a better place, to in some small way do my part in helping to move towards more understanding, less hate and divisiveness. This takes a certain amount of courage. It is easier to sit back and hide behind a smile. Easier to be complacent. Easier to be a nice girl.
Harder to be a good woman.