Watch: Kindness Thought Bubble by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
by Leonie Marsh
This sweet four minute animation was created by prolific author and filmmaker American Amy Krouse Rosenthal, who tragically passed away in March of last year at only 51 years of age to ovarian cancer.
Kindness Thought Bubble so beautifully and clearly outlines some of Krouse Rosenthal’s universal themes present throughout her impressive body of work; life and death, the big existential picture, the economics of kindness, emotional connection between humans, figuring out our collective purpose and what constitutes a meaningful life.
Amy viewed the world in such a magical way. She was constantly re-imagining words to give new meaning, for example her talk at the TEDx Waterloo Conference in 2010 in which she discusses how we are now in a place of REACTION. But if we turn off the screens and listen to the quiet; REACTION turns into CREATION... don’t you love that play with language? And she was also the ultimate connector; bringing people together in meaningful ways in order to better understand this universe and each other.
Kindness is a noun. The quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. It comes naturally to many, but it also takes time. Effort. Energy. So it falls off the priority list. And that’s the real kicker; because even though the very act was conceived to be unconditional, if no one is kind to you, you probably won’t think to be kind to someone else.
Kindness is a key word for me. Whenever I (frequently) fret about how (poorly) I’m bringing up my children, I try to remember that as long as they are kind it will all be ok. Empathy, in our current digital, frenetically paced landscape is almost viewed as a nostalgic mode of behaviour; a thing of the past. But isn’t it really, truly, the only thing? One dear friend of mine loves to send cards in the mail - has done for years - and they are always such a joy to receive. I know she loves sending them as much if not more than my thrill at receiving. Dispatching is kindness materialised.
Amy knew she was dying, and with only days left on this earth she penned the ultimate dispatch in The New York Times to the women of America, explaining just how eligible her wonderful husband (of twenty-six years) would soon be. It’s not just what she says but equally what she doesn’t.
Imagine if we all did one kind thing today - with no ulterior motive - just because we can.
Well. Amy’s message of grace and compassion would indeed live on.
Leonie Marsh (nee Mansfield) is a producer and writer based on the NSW South Coast. She is our Dispatch producer - THANK GOODNESS - and is a regular contributor for White Wash Magazine, sits on the committee for StoryFest Inc; a Writers Festival hosted in the Milton–Mollymook region.
She has worked on numerous studio pictures including Kick Ass, Kick Ass 2, The Debt with Helen Mirren and X Men: First Class.
Find her on Instagram @leonie_marsh