Virtue Before Kindness
Tropes dealing with doing the right thing even though it isn't nice.
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(permanent link) added: 2012-12-18 20:46:50 sponsor: 313Bluestreak (last reply: 2013-02-10 20:19:22)

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Kindness is one of the traits that often separates a hero from that nasty ol' villain. Often at times, we would always expect the hero to have a friendly greeting with others, say a few encouraging words, and other random acts of kindness. And because they're so nice, everything's gonna be alright.

Unfortunately, no.

Even though there are some heroes who do very nice things to others, there are those who do things that are unpleasant to them as well, even if it's for the sake of doing what's right. Whether it be parents who must discipline their children, because it's for their own good, a group of friends excluding a friend for being addicted with drugs, or severely slapping someone on the face just to get them to control themselves, being good requires you to put aside your kindness and sympathy for others and act like a total Jerkass because it has to be done.

This is surely one of the reasons why goodness is always not niceness. Some Lawful Good variant will always have this characteristic if he's putting the emphasis on 'Lawful' more than 'Good'. You can also expect the Knight Templar and the Principles Zealot to go overboard with this trope.

Upholding morality this kind of way can make the hero realize that, sometimes, Being Good Sucks, and there should be a better way to deal with life's problems without being so mean and harsh to others. If this trope were to be applied on an episode of a children's show, this would come across as a Family-Unfriendly Aesop It's often geared towards the cynical end of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism.

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