I love lending out books. Whether it’s a book that has really moved me and just has to be shared with a family member or friend, or I receive a request from someone for a particular title or to surprise them with a variety of selections, there’s always books in motion. One that has been a constant boomerang since first reading it is Wonder by R.J. Palacio. I loved it, and of course then wanted to share it with as many people as possible (it has been a go to present over the past couple of years). When I got a series of texts from a friend last week I was again reminded of some really important themes that the book explores.
“Always try to be a little kinder than is necessary.” – J M Barrie
The first text said simply, ‘I finished Wonder’. I replied, ‘What did you think?’. What came back was, ‘Really good. Particularly liked the quote always try to be a little kinder than is necessary’. We went back and forth for a while exchanging comments on different characters, events and themes, I was so pleased that my friend had enjoyed and was moved by the book as well. Kindness isn’t some abstract thing for us as human beings. It’s the daily lubricant that helps foster ‘informed, connected and empowered individuals believing deeply in their own and others potential’ (our vision).
“When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.” – Dr Wayne W. Dyer
So fast forward two days from those texts and I receive a Facebook message from my friend. It contained the video linked at the beginning of this post. He had seen it online and it had reminded him of a real life example of the quote that had moved him most within Wonder. After watching it I shot him back a message. Within that conversation I loved his observation, ‘What’s necessary? Who knows, but if we all try to be kinder than we currently are, isn’t that a positive step forward in showing humanity that we’re bound together by something other than social media, fear, etc.’ Each day, we can be adding that cherry on top if we’re prepared to notice, connect and act on the opportunities that exist to with kindness make a difference in our own and others lives.
“We carry with us, as human beings, not just the capacity to be kind, but the very choice of kindness.” – R.J. Palacio, Wonder
As seen in the video, our attempts to embody kindness aren’t always met with enthusiasm, trust or belief. But I guess that really isn’t the point. As we interact with self, others and the world around us our choice of what that looks, sounds and feels like is up to us. We can’t control how that will be met, just our own responses along the way. Kindness is best served people to people, as seen in the video above. How much kindness will you choose is necessary? And then will you add the cherry on top?
“Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.” – R.J. Palacio, Wonder