The Kindness Revolution

Allen & Unwin.  RRP $25.95

I’ve known Hugh Mackay since our first books were published (decades ago) and we shared a publisher and were often “on the road” together on publicity tours.

He’s a wise and gentle presence in the media and his thoughtful books offer guidance and advice without preaching or prosletising.

I recently picked up his “The Kindness Revolution”… sometimes you reach for the right book exactly when you need it.

It’s a book helping us to restore hope, rebuild trust and inspire optimism. Born from the Covid crisis no doubt, but it’s not a “Covid book” though it offers some reflections on our impressive human capacity to cope with life’s upheavals and distractions and, surprisingly, points out the (sometimes unexpected) benefits that can follow such experiences.

We have all been changed in different ways by Covid. And it’s not over. But we are changed.

Some of us become frustrated which can boil over into recklessness and anger, or what the hell.

Some of us realise more clearly what is truly important to us, and become more caring. We realise how interdependent and interconnected we all are. We become more resilient.

Of course not everyone thrives or survives well when the going gets tough. But, as Hugh points out, many of us draw strength from belonging to caring and supportive, families, friends, neighbourhoods and community support.

Hugh wonders if the lessons learned through Covid could be applied more generally… could we become renowned for being a loving country, rather than a lucky one as espoused in public opinion. Though that’s not quite what Donald Horne wrote or meant in 1981 in his famous book… in full it reads… “Australia is a lucky country run by second-rate people who share its luck.”

What’s changed we might well ask!

However the “Kindness Revolution” is wise, interesting and absorbing.

The helpful and positive take away from his book shows us that crises and catastrophes can turn out to be the making of us.

Hang in there.


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