“Speak out … let courage call to courage, everywhere”

May 7, 2020 | LinkedIn

The Jeanette Winterson Richard Dimbleby Lecture

It might seem strange to start to think and talk about “New Year resolutions” in the middle of the year but something has happened to me this morning that reminded me of the resolution that I made a few years ago. This resolution, possibly the only resolution that I have ever managed to keep, is something that I have managed to do everyday since then, one way or another, and today is the first time I have delivered on this resolution on social media .. so here goes! That resolution was to deliver a “single act of kindness” to someone, anyone, every day. I felt at the time that as individuals, and a society, we have become too introverted and selfish, too caught up in ourselves, too narrow minded and socially unaware of other people around us and we have stopped caring about things, many of them very small things, but things that matter. I decided that to give love, thoughtfulness and consideration to others was not something that should be narrowly controlled and contained, or only given in the interest that I would get something back in return. I wondered, once my consciousness had recognised that I had had this thought, why it had taken me so long to have it, and then to enact on it. So I decided that perhaps I could, in some small way, just by spending a tiny amount of time and energy and of giving of myself to others, that I could make their day better with a sincerely given compliment, could make our street better if I picked up a bit of litter off the road I saw as I walked to work, could give relief to someone by moving just that little bit on the tube to create a bit more room, could give a note of thanks to someone who has done a great piece of work, to say thank you to my children for drawing me a picture – you get the idea. Today, my single act of kindness to anyone who reads this is to share with you a link to Jeanette Winterson delivering the Richard Dimbleby lecture “Don’t protect me, Respect me” which I have just watched. Please accept my single act of kindness and take 45 minutes in your day today to watch this remarkable woman deliver a remarkable and thought provoking lecture.

Thank you to my friend Larissa Joy whose single act of kindness in sharing this with me has enabled me to share this with you: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0b61v25/the-richard-dimbleby-lecture-jeanette-winterson#.

First published on June 21, 2018