From the desk of Will Kitson: With no one there to see or cheer. This is the world.
WILL KITSON is Managing Editor of Seymour Magazine.
Will holds a Masters in English Literature from King’s College London, prior to which he earned a BA in Creative Writing (with Honours) from the University of Greenwich. Previous to his post at Seymour Magazine, Will has worked as a Reviewer, Copy Editor and Editorial Assistant/Arts Administrator at A Younger Theatre, Blake Friedmann Literary Agency and Brand Literary Magazine, respectively.
With no one there to see or cheer. This is the world.
by Will Kitson
I wrote in my last editorial note that the best things in life are free; as I close out my first quarter at Seymour, I would add that these best things are often shared. As we enter the holiday period I am compelled to remind myself that the best things do indeed soar above ego and personal gain and, when achieved with absolute conviction, they irreversibly alter the lives of anyone they touch for the better. I truly believe that the spirit of kindness lies deeply within all of us, unperturbed by economic and materialistic motivations.
It’s all about perspective isn’t it? Seeing the significance of money and materialism, and then seeing the far greater importance of ameliorating yourself and the lives of those around you. The giving of your time and money not to gain credit, in the hope of receiving something of equal or greater value, but simply out of sheer altruism. Such altruism, however, has become all too rare in our society. Expressions such as ‘You don’t get something for nothing’ and ‘Time is money’ are unfortunately rooted in the minds of many. The refuge of kindness is becoming increasingly small.
Yet a selfless philosophy lies at the heart of everyone who dared to make a difference. Like all great creators, Beethoven never sat down in front of a piano motivated by money and fame, and if he had I guarantee he wouldn’t be remembered 300 years on; similarly, the most earnest charity worker isn’t in it to become Time Magazine’s person of the year. The motivation of these people – the people who inspire and change the world for the better – comes from a deep, mysterious, and perhaps even ineffable place. I could call it humanitarianism, benevolence, or even love, but any type of labelling does the phenomenon an incredible disservice.
In any case, the phenomenon is a human one and satisfying it is undoubtedly the most rewarding experience a person can gain. It is heroism in its purest form, and as David Foster Wallace writes: ‘True heroism is minutes, hours, weeks, year upon year of the quiet, precise, judicious exercise of probity and care — with no one there to see or cheer. This is the world.’
From everyone at Seymour, we wish you a happy holiday.
Published: December 17th, 2013