I've been thinking a lot about kindness these days: the kindness we owe to each other, to strangers who cross our paths, and the kindness I hope to teach my children to express. Such kindness, of course, is the foundation of truly good manners, but its also deeper than that.
Sometimes I worry kindness takes years to develop, if one of my children gawks at an odd-looking person, or when they taunt each other endlessly. Other times, even my youngest can surprise me with his innate caring and solicitude.
Mostly, I have been thinking about something I read in January, a letter from Ariel Kaminer, which appeared in the New York Times Magazine's Lives they lived section. In her letter, Ms. Kaminer describes three lessons she learned from late author, David Rakoff. One of her lessons is "As fun... as it might seem to be witty and cutting, it’s probably better in the long run to be kind." So true. So true, but we sometimes need a reminder. Ms. Kaminer writes it all more beautifully than I can capture here. I only advise you all, dear readers to click through and read this inspiring letter.