The Wonder of Kindness


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

R.J. Palacio Web site

Summary & Characters “Wonder” 

D is For Disappear /The Alphabet Series

New Thoughts on Words

D is for disappear as in the New York Times Best Seller novel, “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn.

Nick and Amy Dunne, two out of work New York City writers, move to Nick’s childhood home in North Carthage, Missouri when they learn Nick’s mother is fatally ill.

Nick is a journalist.

Amy writes surveys or opinion questionnaires.

Example; which of the following will lead to personal happiness.

A.  Caring more about others  than yourself

B.  Discovering a passion

C.  Exercising and eating well daily

D.  All of the above

E.  Other_________________________________

Nick persuades Amy to invest the last of her Trust Fund in a business for him and his twin sister, Margo. They name the bar, “The Bar” and Nick appears a loser when Amy disappears on their wedding anniversary.

The reader knows it is a matter of time for the husband to become the prime suspect.

Gillian Flynn has written a plot driven novel that I read quickly and was reviewed favorably, but I could have put the book down easily.

“As The Washington Post proclaimed, her work ‘draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.’ Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit with deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.”

Amy’s disappearance is not as in vanish, perish or cease to exist. Her vanishing act is one of revenge and dysfunction, concocted when she discovers Nick’s infidelity. Victimized and  bamboozled Amy plans to get even and does.

On the other line of a happiness survey she would write all the below;

A.  If you can’t have the one you love make sure no one else can either.

B.  Make everyone who hurts or disappoints you suffer for the rest of their lives.

C.  Inflicting pain on others is key to personal happiness.

Gillian says “she was not a nice little girl,” and “Libraries are filled with stories on generations of brutal men, trapped in a cycle of aggression. I wanted to write about the violence of women”

“The point is, women have spent so many years girl-powering ourselves — to the point of almost parodic encouragement — we’ve left no room to acknowledge our dark side. Dark sides are important. They should be nurtured like nasty black orchids.”

Isn’t disappearing better?

…Just saying