On the last page of The Sunday Times Style magazine there is a stupid column written by 2 separate people who are looking for love . Cosmo is 61 and Dolly is 27 .
I read it because it is quite light and funny and it makes me laugh .Well it was up until 4 months ago when Cosmo’s son ,Jack , killed himself .He was 29.Now Cosmo writes differently and yesterday he wrote of a subject very close to my heart – Kindness .
Be warned- this doesn’t make for easy reading
Yesterday Cosmo wrote
”I’m fed up with Love: always looking for it. Always dreaming of it. Always praying for it. Everyone talks about Love, sings about Love, writes poems and operas about Love. So today’s column is not about Love. It’s about Love’s distant and much-neglected cousin, Kindness.
Nobody writes lyrical odes or tragic operas to kindness. The quiet decency of kindness seems a bit bland compared with the loud drama of love. When love breaks your heart, kindness puts the kettle on and listens to you cry. To be called kind isn’t much of a compliment ;it’s rather like being called nice.
There’s something more admirable about kindness though.With love there’s always an element of self-interest; it’s usually about you and your desires. Getting love. Giving love. But kindness is something we do for others with no expectation of reward or recognition .
I recently experienced the kindness of a stranger that touched my heart . I had an email from a young woman who lived in the same house as my late son.She was one of the people who discovered his dead body, slumped on the floor of his shoebox of a room..
You can imagine what a shocking and disturbing sight that was for her.And if she had instantly have fled the house, nobody would have blamed her .After all, she hardly knew my son. he was just this strange, quiet young man who lived upstairs.he kept to himself..They had exchanged nothing but a few hellos.But she didn’t leave the house.
After the paramedics had come and gone and the other housemates had left the building and the police were standing outside, she stayed in that house and waited for someone to collect my son’s body.
Why did she do that ? Why didn’t she rush off to take comfort in friends or family?
No, she just sat alone in her room with the dead young man alone in his room because she didn’t want him to be on his own. She felt somebody should be there in the house, to keep him company as it were . She told me ”Maybe it’s silly but…I didn’t want to leave the house before they came to take him”
There was no reason for staying in that house.It was not an act based on love or even friendship.This was the simple kindness of a stranger for a stranger- and for a stranger who wasn’t even alive. It doesn’t get much kinder than that .”