“Kindness is Magic.” This is the motto of Derek, Ricky Gervais’ newest character creation.
Derek is an aid at a nursing home, in love with his boss and best friends with a self-loathing handyman and a sex-crazed homeless guy.
However, that isn’t what makes Derek different. Derek is selfless, sensitive and most of all, kind.
As I watched this show, all seven episodes in a day, I cried and laughed and sometimes both at the exact same time. I watched it with my four-month-old baby girl beside me.
And as I watched, I realized that I wanted many of Derek’s qualities to be instilled in her. In such a crazy world, people like him are hard to come by but I decided to take a few notes and hope for the best.
So, I made a list, all inspired by Derek in some way, of things that I imagine will help mold my daughter into someone incredible and above all, kind.
She will have many, many pets. I learned everything I know about compassion through animals. I learned to treat them just as I would a human friend and she will, too. I also learned how to pick up all different sizes of poop, which somehow equates to responsibility. Which is always a plus.
She will not be scared. I will insist my daughter wear a helmet while riding a bike but I will also tell her she may ride that bike to the store and not just to the end of the driveway. I will teach her not to get into stranger’s cars, but to say “hi” to them on the street. I will teach her to give people the benefit of the doubt.
She will have many people in her life of all shapes, colors and lifestyles. She will be their ally, she will attend their weddings and she will find the good in all of them. Even the people who some may think do not deserve it.
She will be hugged. All the time; even when it embarrasses her. She will be kissed and squeezed and loved in all ways. Nothing teaches a young girl how to love more than being loved. You got an A? Hug. You cleaned your room? Hug. You didn’t clean your room? Hug! Now, go clean it.
As my baby becomes an adult, she will have to make many important decisions. She will have to choose a political stance, a favorite ice cream, a religion and a mate among other things.
As her mother, I don’t care which paths she chooses, as long as she is kind. I hope she gets to meet people like Derek and I hope they rub off on her.
If kindness truly is magic, as I believe it is, I hope my daughter becomes quite the magician.