Friday Morning Thoughts

For those of you that have just started following my blog, there are two people I often refer to as The Bean and The Toppie – these are my parents, the former being Mom and the latter being Dad.

The Bean often told me growing up that Yours Truly is as transparent as a pane of glass.  Some days she’s wrong, because my condition has taught me how to be like the penguins of Madagascar.  Most days the smile and wave approach to life works, but then there are days like yesterday where I’m visibly not my sparkling, rainbow-farting-unicorn self.

I went to my favourite restaurant in town after work to sit in what has become known as my table, which is in the cosiest of corners, intent on blogging.  I read a few more chapters of my current novel, James Patterson’s 15th Affair instead.  I had zero inspiration to write and I almost always have a real book with me.  Failing that I have a selection of Kindle books on my phone, thanks to Charlie.

Some of the waitstaff who I’ve got to know over numerous cappuccinos and amazing meals came to ask if I was okay – not the standard implied question of are you satisfied with your meal and/or our service?  One even sat next to me for what might have been thirty seconds and asked how my day was (because clearly something was amiss).  They noticed me and that made a shitty’ish day a lot better.

The point that I’m trying to get across here, is that sometimes all that’s needed to life someone’s spirits is a kind word and a smile.  What’s even better about this is that it costs nothing.

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Thanks for reading this post 😊  Have a fantastic Friday!

Virtues: Kindness

Many years ago, when I was doing my novel-writing course, my tutor, Alex Smith, said that if a character needs a bit of development, I should use this Proust questionnaire as a starting point. Every so often I take it out and have fun with my friends, “interviewing them”.  It’s also fun to look back at what original answers were vs what they are now.  Some things change, some things stay the same.

One of the questions that always fascinates me is “what is the most overrated virtue?” It is a question that, at first glance, seems easy to answer, but in reality, it isn’t, because not everyone has the same understanding of what a virtue is, nor do their moral compasses face the same True North.

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So, instead of working it from that angle, I’ve opted to discuss what the underrated ones are – in my misfit opinion, but also in the opinions of others who opted to reply to a post I put on Facebook in an attempt to research more about the topic.

To start, I’ll talk about one of the virtues that ranks really high on my list, but that is very often disregarded by others (whether intentional or not, it doesn’t matter): Kindness.

What has become my motto in life is this quote by Ian Maclaren:

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Face it…  Every single one of you reading this post has had it tough at some stage of your life.  Would something as simple as a smile from a stranger, a hug from a friend, an encouraging word from a colleague, or a gentle squeeze on the hand from your spouse have eased the trial, if even for a fleeting moment? I believe so. I’m not in any way trying to say that kindness is the key to solving the problem, but merely that it lightens the burden, if only for a short while. It opens the door for other virtues, like hope and perseverance.

Do I fail at being kind? Sure, I do.  I’m not infallible. Honestly, I fail at a lot of the virtues that will be blogged about during the course of this month. My creativity sometimes leaves for months on end; I can sometimes be selfish instead of selfless; sometimes I am conceited, instead of modest…

In closing, I challenge you to be kind to everyone who crosses your path today, bearing in mind that kindness, like every other virtue, does not require a grand exhibition of self, but a pureness of heart and a humble spirit.