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Similar to my experience in finding a copy of Balzacs The
Atheists Mass, finding a pocket-sized copy of Friedrich Nietzsches
Aphorisms on Love and Hate was a welcome surprise - and an easy
Similar to my experience in finding a copy of Balzacs The Atheists Mass, finding a pocket-sized copy of Friedrich Nietzsches Aphorisms on Love and Hate was a welcome surprise - and an easy purchase.
Although typically morose and nihilistic as a philosopher, Nietzsche also offers some warm words, and has a knack for balancing his views. After all, nothing in this world is black or white: theres always the gray in between. As my lecturer was fond of saying, the dragon has three heads.
We must learn to love, learn to be kind, and this from the earliest youth Nietzsche exclaims. He goes on to talk of an economy of kindness, suggesting that its a Utopian dream to believe that kindness and love should be offered sparingly because they are so precious and invaluable.
But how does one express love and kindness? Through goodwill, of course.
Nietzsche describes goodwill as one of the many small things that cost nothing more than pride, but mean so much to those who receive it. A friendly smile, a kind look, a warm handshake or pat on the back - small, seemingly insignificant gestures that we make every day, often without a second thought. Such things are a continuous expression of human nature, and allows light and life to grow despite the dark and troubling circumstances of our lives.
I used to be a barman, and now work as a web hosting support agent. Both professions require a social, friendly attitude that was difficult for me to extend at first, because Im naturally introverted. But thanks to the small gestures of kindness and love that I received from coworkers and customers alike, I was able to blossom into one of the friendliest and most sought-after barmen in my area.
Even now, despite having very limited knowledge and experience as a web hosting agent, many customers will ask for me by name, because they know Ill go out of my way to help them and make them feel at ease. While it was easy to give my bar patrons a friendly smile and a warm embrace, dealing with clients online means choosing your words carefully and always being ready to meet them on their level. After all, tone can be so very easily misunderstood in text!
But all these little gestures - which really take a surprisingly small amount of effort - really do add up in the long run. As Nietzsche describes it, its cumulative force is among the strongest of forces.
Extending warmth and kindness to the people who cross your path takes a little practice and self-confidence, but once youve formed the habit its difficult not to give someone a friendly smile as you walk past them in the street. And the more often you do, the more you start to see that same goodwill returned - even by complete strangers!
Soon, you begin to realise that there is more happiness in the world than meets the eye.