topic: kindness

02 July 2012

I will eventually relate this to books, but for now. Today's topic to start off the week is kindness.


I believe that being kind is one of the best qualities one can have. To show compassion, and caring, and being understanding is what makes an ideal human being. I started off with being my raw, hard self. Like, I'd slip into a gloomy state where I'd just thoughtlessly say things without realising or meaning them. I'd unintentionally say rude things. I can't think of examples...but I'd say, "You're shirt is so weird" or something, or I'd just shut people out, like yelling "Nothing's wrong! Gosh!" or just ignoring my parents and not answering.

But then, in the past year or two, I've become really concious of myself  and everything around me. My actions have consequences, whether good or bad. The opposite of love is indifference, someone once said, and I had been acting quite indifferent. I don't like being cold, yet it comes like a natural instinct. So I strived to become a better, warmer, nicer person.

How many rude and mean people there are in the world, how inconsiderate and bad people's a really sad thing to see! I've become aware now. Like, if I'm moody, I watch what I say. I apologise when I slip up. And I've started to really make myself happy by making others happy. I live off of happiness, you know?
dancing is fun. I only do it in private (haha) but it never fails to make me feel happy. photo credit

Where I'm going with this, is that I would like you all to be really kind and nice this week, despite however hard things are, because it's not a stranger's fault that your cat of twelve years died last night, or that you woke up feeling horrible. And I think that the world becomes, in one's perspective, sad and gloomy without nice people to light it up.

I found this out, like a boxer's punch to my face, today while shelving books at the library. When people make eye contact at me, I smile and wave hello. I did that today, to about ten people, all of which stared at me like I was a weirdo. Is it so wrong for me to do that? And this man sitting at a table across my isle coughed (it sounded like a sneeze) and no one said "bless you". So I did, after an awkward silence and he looked around to find out where the voice came from, then looked straight back at his book. That's what I would do, but I would at least smile and say softly, "Thank you" or something like that.

Fortunately, this woman was trying to get past me in an aisle and I moved aside for her. She smiled and talked about how she was trying to get through this book, and mentioned something about the cover being really interesting. We struck light conversation and it just made me happy for the rest of the evening.

I know you all are really nice! You don't know it, but you are. You hold doors open for people, you say "pardon me" when walking past someone in the isle, you smile and compliment people upon meeting them etc...  What I'm trying to say is: be aware of yourself. The world is a better place with nicer people.


but you don't have to grow a moustache :)
 photo credit
I am, once again, harping upon cliches, but there are lots of rude people in young adult literature. Now, all men are not pigs, but a lot of boys frequently appear to be that way. All dark and handsome and arrogant. Of course, this isn't all books. A fair majority of boys are actually nice and friendly, but the more attractive ones are rude. I have a teenaged friend who's quite good-looking (Year 13) who  said "... i get to be a gentleman which i enjoy" and "in my opinion, being a gentleman is actually fun". Being a "gentlewoman" (it's actually a word! But doesn't sound as classy) is actually fun too. :D

There are those cliques of just artificially "pretty" girls who are so mean to our main characters. I can't help but to feel compassion for them. Something's happened in their lives that's negatively affected them. All people are born good and innocent, and I'd like to believe it's hidden there amongst nasty people. Like that head cheerleader that's mad at you for dating her ex-boyfriend and will stop at nothing to get you out of the picture: maybe her parents haven't been giving her the attention and love she craves, and maybe inflicting pain upon others and establishing a sense of power  fulfils that need of self-acceptance, that need for...feeling important. I really wish authors would elaborate on the "villains".

The arrogant boys as well. Society has made them think that being rude and mean gets them "love" and "popularity". Or maybe it's just the way these boys, portrayed in novels, were raised or grew up. Maybe his father was drunk all the time, and the boy picked up his lazy attitude, imitating a prominent male role model such as his dad. Maybe he grew up trying to protect his little sister from bad people, and grew that hard, un-trusting outer shell that blocks people out, masking his anxiety with harsh words. Usually these rude, masculine boys are hiding a secret or two. After a while, we can see these characters are actually good people at heart, and that's something important that I like reading.

Hopefully literature for young adults will promote kindness and good manners too. I'm seeing lots of male characters mistreating girls, who only love them more for it (which makes no sense) Like Patch from Hush, Hush. He's not very nice to Nora, yet she claims to love him. Or Damon from Evermore, or Daniel from Fallen. Or Edward from Twilight. I tie these characters with lack of "real love" and dominance of "lust" in a relationship, but also because they have unseemly personalities that I'd not really enjoy.

 Maybe it's that I've never experienced romantic love, so I can't really understand? Do you guys understand it? You're all probably more experienced than I am :)

P.S. Going to a Coldplay concert tonight :D So excited!

3 thoughts:

  1. I agree that kindness is an important quality, but it is seriously underrated in the world today!

  2. I love this topic and so glad you chose to write about it!

  3. Such a good message: "Be aware of yourself." I think more often than not we need to hold up a mirror to ourselves and then have a look around, really see how our actions are affecting those around us. Because like you said, whether good or bad or indifferent, we affect people. Being kind is no guarantee that others will be kind back, but being cruel or indifferent increases the likelihood that others will be cruel and indifferent right back. There's so much happiness that can be had just from reaching out to others.

    Great post, and I'm so glad you're taking part in this project! :D


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