Ricky Gervais has always championed kindness (even though it has to be said that some of his comments when he hosted the Oscars didn’t quite fall into that category!)
And earlier this week, while being interviewed on TV about series 3 of his hit Netflix series, ‘After Life’, he said something which particularly struck home and touched me.
“Always be kind," he said, "just in case, because you just never know what someone is going through.” And how true that is. As we go about our daily lives there are a myriad of people we interact with, who are putting on brave faces, even though they are going through tragedy and/or unimaginable personal suffering. One harsh or unkind word can tip someone over the edge in those circumstances. So I’ve vowed to be extra careful to be kind, not only to those people it’s easy to be kind to, but to those who cross our paths who seem impatient or bad tempered. Because we just don’t know….
I’ve loved After Life, which for those of you who haven’t been able to see it, is a very true to life, often funny, often sad look at someone who is grieving the loss of a loved one. And done in that comedic/tragic way that Ricky Gervais excels at.
As a result of all of the interest in After Life, and to mark its final series, in which the protagonist Tony (Ricky Gervais), often chats with someone in a similar position to his own on a bench in a cemetery, Netflix, together with CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) has installed 25 benches in UK locations, inscribed with ‘Hope is Everything’, and its hoped that these will be used by people to sit, reflect and interact with other people.
Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to come across one. They’ve been placed in Ashford, Kent. Bath, Birmingham Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Falmouth, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Minehead, Newcastle upon Tyne, Surrey Heath and Taunton.
But even if we never come across one, we can always make sure we try to be kind!
Photo: Dusan Kipic Unsplash