Occasionally I get the urge to write down some life advice, and I usually have the good sense to stop myself before I commit some god awful shite to the eternal digital cloud that is the Internet. But all the same I still like to read what other people have to say on the subject of rules to live by and, while most of it is worthless saccharine slush, I've noticed over the years a common thread, a single theme that runs through almost every remotley worthwhile piece of wisdom laid down by anybody whose opinion counts for anything.
The single uniting theme is kindness, everybody seems to think it's an important quality to aspire to, and a man called Kurt Vonnegut summarised what hundreds of others have attempted to articulate when he wrote the following:
“Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you've got a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies-"God damn it, you've got to be kind.”
Kindness does not come easily to me. I do not suffer fools gladly, I have no patience for the weak, and I will carry a grudge to the grave. But I can see why so many smart people rate kindness as chief among virtues, and so I'm trying to develop a knack for it.