Thoughts and other trivia...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Kindness of Strangers

If you’re a Tennessee Williams fan,  or if you watch a lot of films, you’ll be familiar with ‘the kindness of strangers’. There’s also a film based on the play the phrase features in

Last night, I was watching, again, Pedro Almodóvar’s absolutely wonderful Todo Sobre mi Madre (All About My Mother), in which the Tennessee Williams play is a recurring theme and Huma Rojo, the character who plays Blanche DuBois in the play within the film, an integral character. I have always depended on the kindness of strangers, she says. There’s a certain sadness about this line and I’ve always found it strangely moving. It suggests a sense of desolation that survives on the thin slivers of hope it finds in unlikely places and which serve to, somehow, hold it together. 

An Australian friend often says that ahimsa (non-violence) is the greatest word coined in any human language. For me, it’s kindness. A friend insists that I’m a sucker for it. If someone were kind enough, they could rob me blind, she said recently when she stayed over for a couple of days. Nothing to be proud of, I know, but I really believe it’s something the world doesn’t have nearly enough of. Among all the people I’ve known well, I've thought of a handful as being truly kind. But, the strange thing is, as one FB friend once said, some people show the greatest empathy for complete strangers, not to mention characters in books and films, but they're not nearly as understanding when it comes to friends and others close to them. These are otherwise really nice and kind people but I’ve also seen them being downright mean, judgemental and, sometimes, even plain nasty. And, this often makes me wonder: have these people really been what I thought they were or was it just my need to see them as that?


Post a Comment

<< Home