Rewind, be kind

Last Thursday I went to the theatre to see the amazing Jamie Wood in O No! He’s a performer I’ve seen a couple of times and has a wonderful, physical style that includes the whole audience. The people I went with had no idea of what to expect other than the performance was about Yoko Ono and just before we took our seats I mentioned that he was quite audience inclusive. A look of object fear passed between them, ‘I always volunteer my partner’ and ‘I don’t do that’ were the comments made. They were imagining the ‘I need a volunteer to humiliate and take the piss out of’school of participation.

Nothing could be further from the truth, he is generous with his audience, so that you feel you are a real part of what he’s doing. We made art out of a paper suite, became clouds and formed an avant garde orchestra . There was a point where in the process of getting someone onto the stage, Jamie looked at him and said ‘you’re not into this are you’ the guy said no, and immediately was left alone.

Now many performers at this juncture would have either coerced the man onto the stage, or else made him a bit of a joke for the rest of the evening – but Jamie respected his view.

The including and kindness made me think, it’s become popular, and for some it seems easier to be sarcastic, snarky and often personal when responding to issues  that make us feel uncomfortable, or we don’t understand.

So this is a plea to try and be kinder and more generous with others. I don’t  mean don’t  challenge or disagree, but don’t make things personal and don’t be cruel.

There is another school of thought that uses ‘it is what it is’ as an excuse for apathy, which isn’t really a viable alternative.

I started writing this on the day of the Local and European elections, and watching the results come in has made me feel that now, more than ever we need to be kind and empathic to each other.

And I love this song

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3 thoughts on “Rewind, be kind

  1. I like this post Karen 🙂 Your friends’ reaction to learning there would be audience inclusion would have been mine too – complete terror! I love how considerate the performer was with the audience member who wasn’t comfortable going onstage. You’re so right about the need to treat others kindly, particularly while disagreeing with them. It’s way too easy to get snarky or hot-headed when you disagree with someone. I we tend to do it when we feel, in some sense, personally “attacked” by the other person’s point of view. Shooting off your mouth might feel good while you’re doing it, but it really doesn’t even feel very good afterward. And it’s certainly not going to persuade anyone to reconsider their opinion!

    I do tend to use “it is what it is” a lot, but not in the way you mean (I don’t think). I kind of use it in the same vein as “let it be”, or “accept the things you can’t change” about people or situations, rather than making yourself & everyone else crazy (sometimes literally) by never accepting anyone or anything that isn’t exactly the way you want it to be. I just see so many people who seem to be trying to force life & people into this mold of what they think it should be & then they get so angry & frustrated when it doesn’t work. Not that I’m immune to that, but I try 😉 Anyway, I sort of went off on a tangent there – sorry!

    Oh, and I love that song too; wow – it’s really been a long time since I’ve heard that! Hearing it just reminded me that waaaay back when I was a teenager I used to think it would make a really good wedding song 🙂 But of course by the time I finally got around to getting married I had forgotten all about that . . .

  2. Pam, nice to on the receiving end of your tangent, that’s how these posts start for me, thinking about one thing that leads to another. And you’re right about ‘it is what it is’ you mean it in a positive way, mine was the passive/ negative sense.
    I love John Lennon, and the visuals on this where he looks so happy, I couldn’t resist,

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