To be called kind used to mean being damned with faint praise. But these days it’s cool to care and it’s cool to be kind—at least for now. It’s a sentiment that has been brewing in the zeitgeist—even spawning a trend in publishing called “up lit” with books like The Language of Kindness from former nurse Christie Watson and Kindness: The
Little Thing that Matters Most by Jaime Thurston. In the pop world, Alessia Cara made an online pitch for kindness after she was flooded with hateful comments following her performance at last year’s Grey Cup. The Canadian singer posted a video on her Instagram feed encouraging people to be “kind to each other” and not participate in the darker, hurtful side of stan culture. “It’s a weird world and a weird time— it’s already hard to navigate on its own,” she said. “We don’t need to be making each other’s lives harder.” On the political front, American juror Paula Duncan took to the airwaves following the trial of Paul Manafort on tax and bank fraud charges to commend the conviction and to lobby for a more tolerant world. She even urged President Trump to wear a hat that says “Make America Kind Again.” Duncan, who proudly owns her own red MAGA cap, told Anderson Cooper that “once we’re kind, then we’ll be great.” Trump—whether he accepts that fashion challenge or not—has already unwittingly encouraged this craving for decency, notes associate editor Pahull Bains in her feature “Is ‘Kind’ the New ‘Cool’?” (page 80). “While the election of a certain orange-tinted leader did fracture civil discourse for a while, seeing the ripple effects of his rancour and hatred eventually drove home a fundamental realization: Without kindness, there is no hope.” In “Acts of Forgiveness” (page 82), features editor Greg Hudson explores what it means to forgive in often unforgiving times. Hudson also interviewed our cover star for “Julia Garner Is Tougher than She Looks” (page 94). Garner exudes the hallmarks of kindness with a low-key grace that comes from being a sensitive, empathetic and self-aware woman, notes Hudson. As we were working on this kindness-themed issue, I was reminded of a simple line that my father used to say if he felt someone was being uncharitable: “Let a guy live,” he’d say quietly. Packed into those four words was an unspoken call for compassion, open-mindedness and, above all, kindness.
EVEN THIS SEASON’S RUFFLES FROM GUCCI ON COVER STAR JULIA GARNER HINT AT A KINDER FASHION MOOD.