Probability of Niceness

To some it seems inconceivable
that an atheist like myself
could be more ethical than most

you would think that religion
the great doctrine of many
would lead the rest of the world
to a place of serene coexistence

yet, I find that I'm the one
thinking about my actions
and considering the many benefits
of kindness and consideration

while my religious peers
give into their baser impulses
then ask forgiveness for their acts
because God will understand
if your sorry afterwards

I have to live with my actions
and wonder if I did wrong by another
without any book to guide me
or priest to hear my confession

I have to think of how I acted
and ask if there were choices I made
where I could have chosen different
and hurt others less

I have to sort out my hypocrisy
without a get-out-of-jail-free card

I choose logic to guide me
because the numbers say it best
the mathematicians know why
you find me more nice than mean
it's all about probability
and the chance of a positive return

there's evidence to my point
that people are more likely to be nice
if you're nice to them first

sure, it's a crapshoot
there are no guarantees in this life
you may roll the dice and find
yourself on the loosing side
of another persons bad day

but the odds are in your favor
when you play the game
with a positive perspective

many mistake kindness for naiveté
and align forgiving with forgetting
but good guy's don't have to be stupid
if you're smart you'll know the boundary
between kindness and inviting abuse

dare I suggest that you think a little
that you aim for doing what's right
for some other reason than the old standby
that someone else told you to

there may be power in cruelty
but I think there's something more profound
to be gotten out of a stray smile,
a kind word, and a little consideration
for your fellow human being.

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