The Wonder of Kindness
I have been mumbling and grumbling about the sorry state of affairs the world is in. You know what I am talking about; Bill Cosby, NFL domestic abuse policy, Ferguson Mo., Republican idiotic-mess, and the final slip into insanity, Isis; who think nothing of cutting off heads.
What is wrong with these people? It is overwhelming and leaves me no energy for a decent rant. I worry too, that I am adapting an older person’s perspective; the world is coming to an end or a Chicken Little belief that the sky is falling.
Then I heard about “Wonder,” a book my ten-year old granddaughter is reading, that is so good she could not put it down, and read while walking home from the school bus stop. So I got the book, thinking we would start a Nana & Alexandria book club. “Wonder,” by R.J. Palacio, is a New York Times Best Seller and there was a wait for the book at my Library.
Book Summary: Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.
In this book, the heroes are kindness, courage, friendship, and character; the message about leadership and solving life problems. I could not but it down either.
The book even has a happy ending, when Mr. Tushman, the principal, gives the middle school address and quotes J.M. Barrie from book, “The Little White Bird.”
“Shall we make a new rule of life . . . always try to be a little kinder than necessary?”
Although I always make an effort to not be rude, and treat others the way I want to be treated, have forgotten to be kind and rarely, kinder than necessary.
The icing on the cake is when the Henry Word Beecher Medal is awarded to August Pullman. Mr.Tushman quotes Beecher defining greatness.
“Greatness, lies not in being strong, but in the right using of strength. . . He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts.”
Auggie gets a standing ovation as he accepts the medal. It is a feel good moment for the reader and food for thought, what is kindness?
Kindness is a step beyond polite. Kindness is compassion, consideration, benevolence, goodwill, cordial, gentle, generous, decent, charitableness, sympathy, sweetness, towards others. Kindness is a wonder.
Thank you to author R.J. Palacio for giving us hope.
. . . just saying