The last few months I have noticed a couple of viral posts on social media, particularly Twitter and Facebook, of people claiming that the age-old cliche “It must be nice” can simply be fixed by working harder or working longer than the person you’re saying it to or about. This blog is going to explain to you in detail why nobody is actually meaning it when they say it to you, and why it’s weird to be so upset when somebody does say it. Let’s roll!
I, like a large majority of people, don’t have an issue with anyone who says “it must be nice”. It’s been a cliché for probably over 180 years. It’s totally innocent and meant to sort of wrap up a conversation on a light, laughing term. When you hear me say “it must be nice”, I’m not referring to regular every day people who have labor jobs, or have worked their entire lives to have a good living. When I say “it must be nice”, I am referring to professional athletes, talented musicians, incredible actors, lottery winners, Alabama fans and entertainers, who have God gifted abilities and luck that nobody else has. The guys who get to travel the world in private jets, bang hot chicks and eat the best food and not gain anything but pure chiseled muscle. I am referring to Peyton Manning, Dustin Johnson, Keith Urban, Tom Cruise, George Clooney and Brad Pitt. You follow me?
Here’s the reality: If I worked every single day of my life from sun up to sundown, seven days a week, and I tried to sing and play a guitar like Keith Urban, I wouldn’t scratch the surface of his talents nor would I become famous and rich. Why? Because I don’t look like, play guitar like or sing like Keith Urban does. Period. If I shot basketball, lifted weights and trained like a madman 24/7, I would never become Michael Jordan. Why? Because I’m not 7 foot tall. If I took acting classes and really got serious about pursuing a career in Hollywood, I would never become George Clooney. Why? Because George Clooney is an incredibly gifted actor that also looks like Zeus of ancient Greek.
So, yeah, it must be nice.
Nobody is saying “it must be nice” to regular every day people. Or maybe they are. I don’t know. But, even if they are, why is it so offensive in the first place? It’s been a cliche for eons. Maybe the person saying it to a regular person didn’t have the upbringing, resources or education to have what you have? A lot of people get into the family business. “Here son, take the keys!” So, they didn’t actually “work harder” for anything. They were handed it. Situations matter. Let’s not act like they don’t. If I see a nice house and a doctor lives in it, and I see him or her and we have a general conversation and we land on the topic of his house, then I drop a “Man, what an amazing house you have here. It must be nice!”, why is that erroneous? This guy is an accomplished doctor who has extreme intelligence to make it through 10 YEARS of medical school. Knowledge and intelligence? Yeah, that is also a gift and a talent that no amount of hard work or effort will give somebody who is not adequate enough. Genius is magic, NOT material. If you’re not a genius, simply do not bother. No amount of wishing will make it so. So, yeah, it must be nice.
There’s also been songs literally titled “Must Be Nice”. It is a harmless, innocent saying you self absorbed sandbag. Damn good song, too. Go listen.
Okay, back to reading. You know what? It’s also really strange that a common cliche would actually upset someone anyway. Like, very weird. We control so much, in fact, we control EVERYTHING when it comes to our emotions. You’re going to let something totally innocent trigger you to act superior? Nonsense, you cheeseball!
“You have the same 24 hours I do, work harder.”
Could you possibly imagine if Tom Cruise came up to you and said that? I wouldn’t even know what to say. I’d be shell shocked that somebody with amazing looks and God gifted talent like Tom Cruise told me to “work harder” than him if I wanted to have what he has. What a disconnected moment in time that would be. But guess what? I bet you anything that Tom Cruise has never said that to anyone in his life, because he knows just how lucky and talented he is. That’s where maturity and understanding of life comes into the ballgame.
So, the next time someone looks at me on a Tuesday afternoon and I’m playing golf and eating a cheeseburger, and some guy says: “Damn son, it must be nice!” I’m going to look at him, smile and laugh. All the while thinking in my mind, “Hey guy, it ain’t always what it looks like. I’m +8 over on the round, not enjoying myself at all and I’m fucking livid.”
Look, I had to write about this because I think I make some great points and this entire movement needs to stop right now before we have everyone thinking that they can accomplish anything they set their minds to. That, my friends, is a fairytale. Care if I leave you with two verses from scripture?
James 4:10 and Proverbs 11:2.
Oh, and this.