Last night, snuggling down into the comforting depths of my duvet as the wind and rain slammed violently against my windows (with a delightful cup of tea very kindly made by my lovely fiancé close at hand) I finally found myself indulging in the latest edition of Glamour Magazine. I have been so preoccupied with various exciting projects of late that I have barely had any me time at all. I quickly lost myself in a beautiful world of gorgeous fashion, glamorous make-up and intriguing columns, among which was the usual pearl of wisdom from Dawn O’Porter.
Kindness in our relationships
Within her column, Dawn discussed the simple revelation that is kindness. After discovering the lovely little mantra, everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about, be kind, always, Dawn pondered the many experiences she has had with unkind critics so eager to drown her spirit at the most difficult moments in her life. Whilst maintaining kindness should be such an obvious act of humanity, it so often is not. Losing myself further in her column, I realised that Dawn had actually instilled in me a revelation of my very own. We are all so quick to be judgmental. And yet, kindness – which should be exercised in all that we do – seems so very hard to place sometimes. We are often so overcome by the stress of our working day, or by that horrendous outbreak of unwanted spots, or by that unexpected bill, that we take out our problems on those least deserving of it.
Selfish or selfless?
As our own Alexandra Goode has explored, we are so often reminded to live for ourselves, and to put our own happiness first. But I have always met great difficulty when trying to live by that golden rule. Is it wrong for me to consider such guidance to be completely and utterly downright selfish? I can’t help but feel that the importance of exerting kindness to others should be more of a priority than the selfish cushioning of our own feelings. Wouldn’t it make us feel wonderful, to know that we had made somebody smile from deep within? Dawn hit the nail on its ugly head when she spoke of how deeply damaging nastiness (particularly nastiness practiced online) can be.
Dawn and I both work within careers of the same nature, and for that reason I can thoroughly associate with the horrific self doubt she has experienced at various milestones throughout her working life. Writing makes you feel good, particularly when you can passionately exert your honest vulnerability and transform it into an art form. The positive critics push you to the tip of the highest, most beautiful mountain…until that one negative comment leaves you helplessly plummeting into a bottomless pit of despair and self loathing. It always bothers me how anybody could so easily, knowingly hurt somebody.
Demonstrate kindness in all you do
Dawn has flourished throughout her writing career, and as a result is now a wisdom-wielding goddess turned to by young girls in their hour of need of some serious life advice and reassurance that actually, they’re doing great. Whilst I have a looooooooong way to go before I reach such a satisfying level of success, and I am just setting out on the great journey ahead of me, I too have experienced heartbreaking negativity, and it really does smash your self confidence into fragile little pieces. Many times I have found myself buried under my duvet crying, questioning my abilities as a writer. And it’s simply awful. I fully acknowledge and appreciate the individual thoughts and opinions of every critic out there. I understand that there are always going to be negative critics, no matter who you are. But, as my late Nana taught me, if you have nothing nice to say, you shouldn’t say anything at all. I have decided, like Dawn, to make a concerted effort to demonstrate true kindness in all that I do. Who’s with me?
What do you think? Have your say in the comments section below.