800 Acts of Potential Portuguese Kindness
Timed – 17:45:
And yesterday I was lost in thought all about kindness. I’d like to think it’s a natural inclination – pretty sure it is. Okay, a quick one here, well as quick as 17:45 flows by. Was thinking of the opening line I wrote last night and then the second line earlier this morning, call those “pre-timed” scribbles, and I do want to stream-of-consciously write about kindness and the role of kindness in the day to day life of the planet and its people and creatures. And in our case the drastic reduction in kind acts and kindly views of difference and the way one human, say one citizen of the USA, treats another, which for certain includes the kindness to respect difference and follow the 12-Step and quite possibly religious dictum of “Live and Let Live”.
Heard of that one kids? It’s a passing-away fanciful idea lately, oh, say the last 30-40 years, and I’m not sure we are ever going to be able to get it back. Hatred rears its ugliness 24-7 these days, live and in person and all over the tube and world wide web, call it, and I’ve got to admit it’s getting worser, getting worser all the time, to paraphrase four kids from Liverpool, and even that chorus – “it can’t get no worse” – well, people who have lost their compassionate way are doing their best to prove that incorrect. You want to see worse!! We got worse.
I can’t get excited about politics anymore, or even the United States, and I am forever hinting to my wife that I’d sure like to see what it would be like living elsewhere, the two primary off-the-top-of-my-head destinations being Portugal and New Zealand. Hmm, I’m not sure they even let you into New Zealand anymore, trying to keep out the riff raff, likely, the riff raff primarily Americans, surely. Speaking of NZ, my wife Susan and I stumbled onto a TV show called “800 Words” on the British ‘Acorn’ channel, which is available through Amazon Prime, which I signed up for by mistake but now am real glad I did, even if there are corporate evilnesses I’m mostly ignoring. Well I decided to pay the five bucks a month for Acorn to begin watching a series called ‘Vera’, after seeing a piece of one episode on PBS and thought it was cool, but in full-time viewing both Susan and I felt Vera, the character, was just a tad too pushy and leaning on the cranky-to-nasty outlook, and we stopped watching after three episodes.
So, yes, I could have cancelled Acorn, but instead looked around and fell upon “800” and read the summary of the show, for which I felt minimal interest, but we watched a couple of episodes and immediately became flat-out 100% hooked. It turns out there are three seasons, the first with eight episodes the next two with 16 each, my minimal math skills adding episodes up to 40, and both thrillingly and soon-to-be massively down-heartened, we have now watched 38 of them. It is the best show, quite possible ever, and one reason why it is is that it is permeated with an abundance of kindness. It leaks and oozes through the dialogue and characters’ behaviors, and emotion is powerful, and being kind and good and being the owner of a pure heart matters a lot – it’s mostly what matters. And, not to be writing a review here, well I guess a little, but it has moved into one of my now all-time favorite TV shows, for that matter anything put to the realm of film, ever, and after a while I know I’ll watch all of it again (how many times have I gone through all 12 seasons of NYPD Blue?) — and I will be better off for it.
And so would you, though, and here I go being all negative and gloomy again, watching it probably wouldn’t make a lick of difference to the machinations of the bullies and generally mean characters we find ourselves among on a growing basis, day in and out via the 24-hour blast of mostly wicked bad news. But — I am not forgetting Portugal here either, say somewhere on the coast in the warm sunshine and dazzling blue sky, and maybe I could take up surfing (yay) and learn a few words of Portuguese, though these brain cells and knees are faltering more with passing decades. Because, oh by the way, I haven’t mentioned being 50% Portuguese, what with being born in New Bedford and all thanks to a 100% Portuguese mom. You don’t really hear much bad stuff about Portugal, other than being broke mostly, the country, therefore consequently a place into which I could fit nicely, along with the wife and possibly kids. And I bet find kindness.
Of which we are in much too short supply. But it didn’t used to always be like that.
Good thing I have received a big old dose of it lately watching “800 Words” Though I still don’t have a passport.
Duh. Well, a kind Duh.