The other day, on NPR, I heard someone quoting his favorite “words to live by” as – “Be kind to one another for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”  The quote is often attributed to Plato, but actually, it is from a Scotsman by the name of Ian MacLaren, or at least that was his pen name; his real name was Rev. John Watson.  I use this quote a lot when I go to schools and talk about my book,  The Giant King as it really sums up the underlying truth of this story.  The wording I use is a little different – “Be kind to one another for you do not know the burdens another may carry.” Some children have a hard time with the word, “burden,” especially hearing it with my accent, and it is a somewhat old fashioned word.  But after a little discussion, they “get it.”  Of course, all of us, every day have some sort of burden in our life, big or small, that can weigh us down and prevent us from being at our best.  It may even make us mean and cranky and downright fierce – as is the case with the Giant in my book.  How to combat such behavior? BE KIND.

A fierce giant terrorizes the townspeople

It is hard in our culture, especially for boys, to accept that in the face of violence, the most effective stance is actually kindness.

A wee lass is KIND to the Giant and so her act of kindness leads to more acts of kindness


“There is nothing so strong as gentleness and nothing so gentle as real strength.” Francis de Sales