A Little Kindness Goes a Long Way

The novelist Aldous Huxley wrote, somewhat apologetically,“It’s a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one’s life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than ‘try to be a little kinder.’” 

Jeremy Clarkson’s article about Meghan Markle, evoked from him a kind of apology – after the largest protest to the Independent Press Standards Organisation since its inception in 2014.  He said that he had “put his foot in it”.  A  phrase we usually use when we have unintentionally made a faux pas.  I guess he would have thought a true apology to be a sign of weakness. The editor of the Sun must also originally have thought it was worth publishing it.

Kindness clearly isn’t seen to sell newspapers.  Being unkind, sensational and vitriolic, it seems, does.  But what encourages someone to write a piece for publication in which they say that they hate someone “on a cellular level”, or they’d like to see them “parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while crowds chant, ‘Shame’”?

We know that “hurt people hurt”.  We know it from our own experience.  When we feel hurt, our instinct can be to hurt back.  A much bullied Jeremy Clarkson was deeply unhappy at his boarding school.  Ultimately he was expelled for “drinking, smoking and generally making a nuisance of himself.” He seems to have continued to act out that persona.   He’s made a lot of money, but on the whole that approach doesn’t make for good relationships.

I’d rather go with the Dalai Lama: “Be kind whenever possible.  It is always possible.”

Chris Dawson

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