Nearly all of us wish to be known as ’nice’ people. Yet our happiness may depend on a willingness to be — at points — strategically selfish.
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“It’s natural and beautiful to strive to be a nice person. In a world full of cruelty and thoughtlessness, nice people are committed to being generous, sympathetic and gentle. They never want to cause anyone to feel defeated or to lose sleep. They will go to great lengths to spare others tears. It sounds especially lovely.
Nevertheless, it seems impossible to go through the whole of life being nothing but kind. Sooner or later, we are all called upon to take decisions that, even as they protect things we very much care about, will ruffle feathers, generate upset and may lead us to be (at least for a time) violently hated in some quarters.”
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