Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Kindness Project: The Hardest Thing - You're Living

Too often kindness is relegated to a random act performed only when we’re feeling good. But an even greater kindness (to ourselves and others) occurs when we reach out even when we aren't feeling entirely whole. It’s not easy, and no one is perfect. But we’ve decided it’s not impossible to brighten the world one smile, one kind word, one blog post at a time. To that end, a few of us writers have established The Kindness Project, starting with a series of inspirational posts. We post the second Wednesday of every month.


I had lunch with an actor friend last week.

I try not have many actor friends because, let's face it, we're flaky people.

And I especially try not to "do lunch" with them because, we'll face it, didn't that first sentence sound douchey?

But Tohoru Masamune has a background like mine - he went to MIT and fell far short of his Asian family's expectations for a legitimate career.  (Though he did work on one of the biggest movies of the last five years.  Hint - is the top still spinning?)

During our douchey 3-hour lunch, Tohoru gave me some of the best encouragement for artists of all genres.

What we're doing is the hardest thing of all.

It blew my mind.  And was so simple I caught on immediately.

People my father often scoff at us for not having a real job.  One that makes you show up at the same time, usually too early, and every day.  For not doing the hard thing of growing up and being responsible.

I don't discount that - being a grownup is hard.  Especially when they see us lunching for three hours like douchebags, looking unnaturally fit for our age.

But on the flipside, they know where their next meal is coming from.  Whereas the lunching douchebags may not eat again the rest of the day.  (No wonder we sat for 3 hours - had to make the most of our one meal.)

Even staying fit isn't something to be envied - it's a job requirement for the only industry in the world in which, legally, your race, height, and fatness can land or lose a gig.  This isn't easy; it's primitive!  Just as Neanderthal man didn't eat if he didn't run, we don't get paid if we don't get on that elliptical.

This ability to tolerate an enormous amount of uncertainty, to even thrive on it, hits right down to our roots as people.  Cobbling together money to slide the rent check under the door at 5:01 p.m. (told you actors are always late) may not be the same as trekking twenty miles every morning to spear a boar, but the underlying drive is.  There's something about the sink or swim mentality that makes you feel ALIVE.  It's what keeps the actor going to rejection audition after audition, and the writer to complete one manuscript after another.

So if you've committed yourself to living your passion, you should be commended.  If you've finished a novel, if you've queried, if you dared to practice your craft and share it with the world, you're doing the hardest thing of all.  You're living.

Visit the other members of The Kindness Project:



P.S. Fellow Kindness Project author Meagan Spooner is having a massive giveaway on her blog for her debut Skylark!

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