Student: I am always nice to my neighbor, hoping he’ll be nice back to me. Only to find that, as a rule, he’s rude back to me. It so disappoints me.
Teacher: Being nice to your neighbor has no influence on his habitual nature. If he’s trained himself to be rude, no matter what the reason may be, then rude he will be, no matter how you respond to him.
Student: Then I am only betraying myself by being nice to him, hoping it will change his nature.
Teacher: Being nice elevates you above self-betrayal; it’s the perfect guide to escort you through life. Be nice to him because “being nice” is your nature, and you will get the greatest reward possible – a deep sense of dignity and grace, no matter what you may face.
Student: So, if I’m nice, looking for niceness in return, I’m nullifying the real reward that comes with being nice.
Teacher: I couldn’t have said that better.