Have you heard about the book Wonder? It is a Young Adult book gaining quite a following as it deals with several difficult topics; among them-bullying and prejudice.
The premise of the book is a 10 year boy who is horribly disfigured. He has been home schooled up until the start of the book. The book chronicles his first year at a private school and the challenges he faces and ultimately overcomes.
One of his teachers starts each month with a quote; a precept. A saying that they are to write an essay around what it means to them and then they are to try and emulate the morale throughout the month.
No spoiler alert here except to say that the book is truly inspiring, a wonderful story that is well worth the read. The book ends with a graduation in which the principal, Mr. Tushman, quotes from J.M. Barrie’s book The Little White Bird, as part of his commencement address:
“Shall we make a new rule of life…always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary?”
He goes on to say:
“Kinder than is necessary,” he repeated. “What a marvelous line, isn’t it? Kinder than is necessary. Because it’s not enough to be kind. One should be kinder than needed. Why I love that line, that concept, is that it reminds me that we carry with us, as human beings, not just the capacity to be kind, but the very choice of kindness. And what does that mean? How is that measured? You can’t use a yardstick. It’s like I was saying just before; it’s not like measuring how much you’ve grown in a year. It’s not exactly quantifiable, is it? How do we know we’ve been kind? What is being kind anyway?….
“Such a simple thing, kindness. Such a simple thing. A nice word of encouragement given when needed. An act of friendship. A passing smile…if every single person made it a rule that where-ever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary, the world really would be a better place.”
World Kindness Day offers us an opportunity to reach out and be kind to one another. The Random Acts of Kindness website offers 10 Fun Ways to Celebrate Kindness in our lives.
Offering kindness to one another costs us nothing and yet the reward is priceless.