There are many who believe these two words go hand in hand and that to have one you must have the other. I have a different take. (For this post I define nice as pleasing; agreeable; delightful. I am defining good as excellent or virtuous.)
There are four ways to look at this:
1. There are things that are good and nice at the same time.
2. There are things that are good, but not nice.
3. There are things that are nice, but not good.
4. There are things that are neither.
I know a woman who I find to be a good person. From the conversations we have had she seems to be very genuine and heartfelt. She can be nice. But that is not her strong point. She is good. Good at her job. Good to her friends. A good person. I wouldn’t consider her a consistently nice person. It wouldn’t fit her if she were. She doesn’t have to be both.
There are times when people refuse to tell you what they should. They don’t want to hurt your feelings. They don’t want to turn into a difficult conversation. The could choose to be good and do the right thing. The settle for being nice and letting something continue that shouldn’t.
It has been a paradigm shift to look at things like this. Knowing that the good thing to do is not always the nice thing to do flies in the face of convention. People aren’t used to hearing the truth. It hurts, but the truth is a good thing. It is not always a nice thing though.
We face the choice everyday of how we respond to things. If we can do both nice and good, great. If we must choose one over the other, do it with caution.