Ted Lasso and The Kindness Revolution
December 2021 Issue
Reel Corner by Donne Paine
Ted Lasso and
The Kindness Revolution
A friend of mine realized she had lost one of her diamond earrings while having a meal at a roadside Cracker Barrel on her way home to Delaware from Hilton Head. Crying and searching to no avail, she and her husband finished their meals. When asking the waitress for the check, they learned another customer paid their tab in hopes the gesture might soften the blow of the missing earring.
A stranger dropped off a $15 Starbucks gift card at my workstation after witnessing me trying to navigate and mediate two overzealous and demanding patients wanting to “be first” in the Moderna booster line.
Every once in a while, The Reel Corner sees a glimpse of strangers carrying out random acts of kindness. With our airways and social media filled with bickering, chaos and hateful attacks, is it possible that kindness is making a comeback?
There are several organizations (www.spreadingkindnesscampaign.org) that focus on bringing kindness education into schools, businesses, and global partners in adapting Acts of Kindness in their programs. There is the Dare to Be Kind Movement (www.daretobekindmovement.global) which does about the same.
But I think this new look at kindness is highly influenced by the new hit series, Ted Lasso, on Apple TV.
Ted Lasso, which premiered August 2020, garnered 20 Emmy nominations after its first season and won seven, including Outstanding Comedy Series. The innocent, charismatic American soccer coach played by Jason Sudeikis won the hearts of millions of viewers as he stumbled through England and coached a team in the English Premier League, armed with a whistle and his motto: “Believe.”
In the first episode, as Ted Lasso deplanes in London and gets ready for his first day as the manager of a middling English soccer team, he asks the driver who’s been sent to pick him up his name. It’s such a small simple moment, but it is one that illustrates who Ted Lasso is; he wants to make a connection with everyone he encounters.
Lasso was the mildly successful head coach of the Wichita State Shockers football team, and he was recruited to manage AFC Richmond, despite the fact he’s never coached soccer, nor does he know know anything about soccer. He hasn’t even been to England before.
Despite the fact that most of the scenes take place in locker rooms or on the field, and most of the characters are coaches, players and sports management executives, Ted lasso is not really a sports show. You might say it’s more about kindness, optimism and self-acceptance. It’s also about relationships—on a team, in friendships, with coworkers—and how to conduct relationships.
Ted Lasso is a good reminder that there is always room for more compassion, more grace, more charity and more patience. Kindness, as he illustrates, seems to be defined as finding and celebrating the humanity in others.
Ted Lasso makes you feel safe and seen, and oftentimes, happy.
An Oxford University study found that something as subtle as introducing small acts of kindness to your routine for seven days will noticeably boost your mood. And these small acts of kindness also tend to have a significant ripple effect, meaning the people on the receiving end go on to feel brighter and more satisfied with their day-to-day lives. The Reel Corner challenges you to try adding a few, even small, random acts of kindness as you go about your day. Let’s call it Lassoing in kindness.
The Reel Corner wishes everyone a very
Kind Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy New Year
References: www.vice.com, www.theatlantic.com, www.thecrimson.com
A special thanks to Tenna Sherwood and Jean Phillips.
Donne Paine, film enthusiast, once lived around the corner from the Orson Welles Theater in Cambridge Massachusetts, where her strong interest in films, especially independent ones, began. Supporter of the arts, especially films, she travels to local and national film festivals, including Sundance, Toronto and Tribeca. There is nothing like seeing a film on the big screen. She encourages film-goers to support Hilton Head local theaters; Coligny Theater, Park Plaza Theater and Northridge. To support her habit of frequent movie going, Donne is a travel medicine nurse consultant. See you at the movies!