It most certainly is true, Bill. I wish I could say I always live by that mantra, but we can only do our best.Fewer and fewer people seem to actually be *nice* these days, especially of our generation (late 20s / early 30s). Ignorant people blame Lady Thatcher for instilling a "Me, Me, Me" attitude in the 80s, but what actually replaced it is the "I'm owed something, I'm owed something, I'm owed something" attitude brought by 13 years of the last Labour government, in my opinion.I know which one I prefer.
It's important to be nice; no doubt of that. But is it nice to be important? Stay low, stay happy. A celebrity is a miserable person that everyone is sick of.
Be nice, and you can be sure that to someone, somewhere, that fact of your being so, WILL be important. It ain't necessarily an either/or, Billy.
I would beg to take a rather different line here. A good sounding slogan can risk being trite and devoid of meaning. The use of these two adjectives in such transposition misses the more essential things in life IMHO.To me, truth is very important. To recognise it and to understand what it means. I don't claim to have the complete answer - yet.In establishing the truth, it may be necessary to upset a few people who cannot face it. I wouldn't pause just to spare their feelings because the main aim is more important. Things can still be done civilly though.When someone starts using insults as a first approach, you know they have no argument. If they use insults in the course of an dispute, you know that their argument has run out of road.So I would say it is better to be right than nice. I certainly would not want to be wrong just so that people think of me as being nice (The first two posters here I hold in great respect and doubt that either would disagree with that. The third I am warming to but don't know well enough yet to make such claim.)As for being important, that is unimportant. It is simply a matter of other people's opinion and should never be part of your own desire.
'It is better to be right than nice.' Up to a point, Lord Cat. I think you should allow yourself to lose an argument on an unimportant point where the other side is desperately attached to his cause, and concede just for the sake of not provoking anger. On Guido's blog, you don't feel the need to be brutal to Jimmy, who is desperately wrong but sounds like the sort of bloke it would be fun to meet in a pub and argue with. Even when you are absolutely certain that you are right, insisting on it can be over-proud. And, of course, your sincere belief that you are right may prove false anyway, in which case you look like a right prat for sticking to it.
As always (when I am not being frivolous - far too often I fear!!), my dear Tachy, I am addressing substantive issues. So you are correct to pick me up on better - better for what?Take the issue of how to spend London's reserves, currently earmarked for Crossrail, or the issue of wind turbines.When vast chunks of our precious resources are going to be wasted on a politico's own ego massaging, I feel the need to be nice evaporates fairly swiftly, especially when they use ad hominem against you as a starting point. Like you I am quite fond of Jimmy and even wished him a goodnight just hours ago (after positing a most frightful calumny against him which, admittedly, I tried to let down a bit with humour. I think he will grin at being compared with a church minister…)There is a Popperesque way in which the ability to prove something wrong is easier than to prove something right - which I hinted at - as well as adding my own caveat. Naturally I do not claim to be always right - but the search for truth continues to be important even if elusive.