Doing unto others

Charlotte’s most recent note about her writing asks the question “Why do I want my characters to be likeable?”  Her implication is bang on the button; it is the weaker writers who create people made entirely of candyfloss or people who are all irredeemably shits.   This is probably why there is such a demand for second-rate writing: it makes such comforting reading.

Treating others with decency and respect regardless of whether or not you actually like them should be one of the signs of adulthood, but very few adults can manage it.  It’s core to both Buddhism (think of the Metta Bhavna) and Christianity (Luke 10:26-28).

Being kind to people simply because they are people regardless of whether or not you like them is hard.  Sometimes just behaving with common decency is difficult, let alone kindness.  So it’s a self-discipline that I struggle with, but it is one that I try to practice.   I work on the rather patronising principle that life is hard enough for nasty people without me being unpleasant to them.  And very few of us can help being shits: I’m addicted to sarcasm myself, which can make me unexpectedly unpleasant.

So I try to take the socialist maxim of ‘to each according to his need’ rather than the Tory principle of whether or not someone is ‘one of us’.   It’s hard though, and it would be a lot easier if there were a recording angel somewhere.

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4 responses to “Doing unto others

  1. Aphra, this is off-topic, but have you seen this website about Virgin Healthcare? I think it needs some publicity..

    http://www.branson-pickle.com/

  2. Eek. You are right. It does. I assume the medical bloggers know about it, but I’ll swoop by their spaces later today with emails and links. I’ll also let Remedy know and see if a kindly medic can post a link on DoctorsNet.

    Aphra.

  3. Ta very much for that, Aphra.

  4. Dear Aphra and Julie

    I am the whistle-blower who was forced to resign from Virgin Healthcare after raising my conerns.

    Richard Taylor (MP) has asked in the House of Comons for a meeting with Alan Johnson to discuss my ‘alarming’ concerns.

    Thanks for your support – the more people to visist and comment on the site the better.

    Cheers
    John Spencer

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