Tuesday, December 18, 2007



Okay, for the past week, I’ve been thinking about writing something befitting the “old school” Christmas season. “Old school” in accordance with the true meaning of Christmas -- as opposed to Christmas as a commercialized exchange of gifts. I wanted it to be heart-warming as well as thought-provoking…but not too long, because I still have my shopping to do :-).

This is what I came up with, and what I’d like to share with you:
Will somebody please explain to me when, in our society, the word “enabler” became a euphemism for “nice person?”

And why is this nice person then responsible for “enabling” another person to take advantage of him/her?

So what, then, does the person taking advantage of the nice person ultimately have to do in order to be held accountable for his/her exploitation of the nice person? Or does he/she get a free-pass on personal responsibility because the nice person was “too nice” to be able to appreciate a self-serving butthead when he/she saw one, thereby making it his/her own fault for being taken advantage of?!

I think it’s time for us to re-evaluate the prevailing psychology of trying to “cure” people from being “too nice.” Personally, I like nice people; there have been rough patches in my life when their kindness “enabled” me to get through it. And their kindness also made me want to be a nicer person, myself.

The thing about nice people, though, is that they think everybody operates out of that sense of integrity…that it’s genetically encoded into our humanity…that it’s what separates us from the rest of the animal world…that, in fact, not being nice is the dysfunction!

Instead of trying to reform “nice guys,” I think we should be putting more energy into making buttheads more accountable, instead of (for example) fawning over them and making them tabloid fodder and reality TV stars…and really bad role models for our kids. Who knows, maybe being held accountable might get the buttheads to view their behavior in a way that might motivate them to become nicer guys (or gals), too.

Now what a great Christmas present that would be!

Happy Holidays!

To watch vintage episodes of The Edge of Night, go to the AOL/PGP Classic Soaps Channel!