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Issue 280
September/October 2013
A Green Manifesto


On Kindness

issue cover 280

Cover: Painting by Anne Currie

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On Kindness

An extract from 99 words.

Above all try to be kind.

I have no doubt kindness is the greatest virtue. You can find a million reasons in any one day to dislike people, to feel resentment or even loathing. But to be kind is to protect yourself from the worst parts of your own nature. You may fear that to face people with an open heart leaves you vulnerable, open to abuse. I rather doubt it. The way of the hard face is much harder. Be kind to others, especially the more difficult people you encounter, and that kindness will come back to you.

From 99 words collected by Liz Gray, published by Darton, Longman & Todd To read Inua Ellams and Scilla Elworthy’s contributions visit

Fergal Keane is a journalist, writer, broadcaster.