Why Kindness?

R.L. Stine

Episode Summary

This week Jaclyn is joined by renowned author R.L. Stine, creator of the Goosebumps series, for one of his most uninhibited public conversations to date. The novelist takes us through his childhood in Ohio and how his interactions with unkindness showed him the value of patience and persistence that has fueled him throughout his career.

Episode Notes

Best-selling children's author R.L. Stine steps into the studio to discuss how kindness and unkindness have shaped both his life and his work.  

This podcast is one of the many ways we live out our organization's mission to educate and inspire people to choose kindness. Visit our site kindness.org and sign up to become a part of our global community which spans more than 100 countries. It's free to join and when you do you'll be the first to get access to our latest research, tools, and even episodes of this podcast. Let's build a kinder world, together. Contact us at podcast@kindness.org or on social at @kindnessorg

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Episode Transcription

Intro: Kindness. Why kindness? Because it makes a difference. For connection. Kindness can change lives. It's contagious. The sign says you'll be glad you did. Kindness is... The key to a healthier, happier world. 

Jaclyn: Why kindness? While no one answer is the same, one thing is clear. Kindness is something we all know, but do we know why it matters?

I'm your host, Jaclyn Lindsay, co-founder, CEO of kindness.org. And you're listening to why kindness? Hello, friends. This is Jaclyn Lindsey, host of the Why Kindness podcast. I am so excited about today's guest. I'm joined by the formidable R. L. Stine, someone who I began reading as a 10-year-old through his legendary Goosebumps series.

And very quickly moved into his Fear Street series and to be sitting with you today, uh, is a true honor and I'm really excited to dive into this interview. And so with that, I would like to welcome R. L. Stine. Um, and let me just kind of get it out of the way and clarify. Should I call you Bob? Does that work for this interview?

Bob: No one called me R. L. in my life.

Jaclyn: Okay.

Bob: I think you have to live in Texas to be called RL, right?

Jaclyn: Okay. Bob. Um, and who's our friend in the background, just so I know who, who's there.

Bob: I have to warn you about Lucky, because he likes to stand up at that window back there that you can see and bark out the window. So he'll, he'll probably be joining in a lot.

Jaclyn: Great. I love that. Lucky. Hello. We're so happy to have you.

All right. So Bob, thank you so much. I know this might feel atypical to a lot of the interviews you do. Historically, I've read so many, um, of, of the interviews you've done over the years. Fascinating story. We're definitely going to get into some of that. But today's discussion is around the role of kindness in our world and hearing from prolific people on their own ideas of kindness and how kindness may have influenced their life.

So I want to open up and just ask you a question. When you think of kindness, who's the first person that comes to mind for you?

Bob: See, you've stumped me already. I knew it. Here, a couple examples of kindness. Um, my wife is very sick, and we have these wonderful caregivers who come and hang out with her all day, and they're all incredibly kind.

The kind of kind, I mean, I couldn't imagine. Here's another story, less, um, about kindness, I think. Um, when I was a kid, back in Columbus, Ohio, I was a comic book freak. People always ask me, What children's book, what books did you read when you were a kid? And I didn't read books. I didn't read books at all.

I read only, I had big stacks of comic books. And I loved comic books. One day... My mother dropped me off at the Little Public Library on Main Street in our town, and the librarian was waiting for me. And she said, Bobby, I know you like comic books. I'm going to show you something else I think you will like.

And she took me to a shelf of Ray Bradbury stories. The great science fiction writer. And introduced me to these stories. And I read them, I, Jaclyn, I couldn't believe how wonderful they were. They were so beautifully written and so imaginative. And they all had great twist endings. And, um, Ray Bradbury, actually, and that librarian turned me into a reader.

I started reading these books. Then I went on to Isaac Asimov and Robert Sheckley and all these other science fiction authors, and I became a reader, thanks to this librarian. And I never forgot that. I mean, I think that was a real act of kindness. What do you think?

Jaclyn: I agree. I think, you know, the point of this discussion and what our listeners are interested in, it's being reminded that every one of us everywhere in the world has our own understanding of kindness.

And it's different for everybody. And that's beautiful and good and okay. And so whether it's funny or not funny or sad, I think the power of kindness, um, it's intimate and it's understood by all. And similar to reading similar to your books, they've been translated all over the world. Kindness is something that transcends beyond it.

And you know, everyone can relate and connect to it, probably very similar to fear and humor. Which I think is something you've embraced, so I love that answer. Thank you for sharing that. Um, okay, and so we know a lot of the things out in the public, and I think for something like this, it's digging into things that maybe aren't, um, so well known, but just to make sure our listeners are up to speed, one of the things that I love about your story growing up, uh, you found this typewriter. Right? Brought it downstairs. I think I read somewhere that your mom would say, go out and play. I mean, you just wanted to be inside.

Bob: My parents didn't understand me at all. Why I'm nine years old. Why am I in my room all day typing? They just didn't get it.

Jaclyn: Were you an only child?

Bob: I was an only child with a brother and a sister.

Jaclyn: Okay.

Bob: They didn't get much attention. I was the oldest. I got all the attention. But I did have a brother and a sister. But I always say this, my mother gave me the worst advice I ever got in my life. Stop typing and go outside and play. That's terrible advice, right?

Jaclyn: Yeah, for you, for you it turned out to be.

Bob: I was very shy kid and very fearful of a lot of things, which terrible way to grow up as a kid. Also, uh, my family was very poor. We had no money at all. There were five of us living in a tiny little house, right three doors from the railroad tracks, right on the edge of a very wealthy community. The Ohio governor's mansion was two blocks away from us.

All these mansions. And we were poor in this tiny little house. And I think I grew up feeling like an outsider. I didn't really feel that I fit in. I didn't belong. And I think I, you know, I've thought about it quite a bit. And I think that's why I like staying in my room. creating my own worlds and, and, and writing by myself.

I think that's one reason I liked it so much.

Jaclyn: When you think about how you did character development, did any of your own life get brought into what you were writing? You know, creating connections or friendships or perhaps people?

Bob: You mean a horror story?

Jaclyn: Well, maybe, maybe, you started being with jokes.

Bob: No, I never planned to be scary. Yeah. I never planned to write that. It was never my idea. I always was funny. Always. And I always thought of myself as funny and all I ever wanted to do was funny stuff. And I've written, you know, a hundred joke books for kids, and I did a humor magazine for kids for ten years. I never, never really planned to be scary.

As for my real life entry, no, I don't think so. I had a fairly, I didn't have great parents, but, uh, I had, uh, well, a normal childhood, nothing, you know, out of the ordinary, really, quiet. There, our suburb of Columbus was very quiet. Not much went on and not, not much of that went into my, my writing, I don't think.

Jaclyn: Okay. And so I, I'm loving this and I think that's interesting because I think personally as an avid reader. I mean, I, truly growing up, I read all your series, all the books. Every time they were released, I was at the bookstore.

Bob: You turned out okay.

Jaclyn: I'm okay. I think, you know, I mean, but I did always wonder, you know, what was the impetus? 

What was going on in your mind that would lead you to create, these stories? Do you have one moment where you went from being funny to being scary?

Bob: No, not really. I, no, see that's an embarrassing story because being scary wasn't my idea. It was someone, I was having lunch with my friend, Jean Feiwel, who was the editorial director at Scholastic at the time.

And Jean arrived at lunch and she was angry with another author and she said, uh, she sat down and she said, um, I'm never working with him again. I bet you could write a good scary novel for teenagers. Why don't you go home and write a teen horror novel called Blind Date? She gave me the title and everything.

I didn't know what she was talking about. What did she mean? What's a teen horror novel? I had no idea what she meant. And I went home, I actually ran to the bookstore and bought teen horror novels by all these other authors. So I could figure out what it was and what I could do. And I read them and I wrote this book, Blind Date.

It came out, it was a number one bestseller. It's a number one on Publishers Weekly's bestseller list. And a year later, I wrote another one for her called Twisted. Another number one bestseller. And I said, forget the funny stuff. I'm going to be scary. And that's, that's how it happened. Scary as it is. But it's embarrassing because it wasn't my idea.

Jaclyn: But you embraced it. Any regrets?

Bob: Regrets? No, it worked out okay.

Jaclyn:  I think it did. I would say it definitely did. Yeah. Definitely a living.

Bob: No, it worked out. I'm very grateful to her for having the idea.

Jaclyn: Yeah, I'm curious, throughout your career now, where has she fit? Is she, do you still know her? Is she still involved in any way?

Bob: No, we're very good friends. Oh. And I'm, she's at Macmillan now. She has her, Jean Feiwel and Friends, her own imprint at Macmillan. And I do, I still do books for her. It's like 30 years later, you know, I've been doing Goosebumps for 30 years. This is over 30 years and I'm doing a series of hardcover, short story books for Jean called Stine Tinglers.

Jaclyn: Hmm, tell us more. 

Bob: Good title, right?

Jaclyn: Yeah, it's great. 

Bob: I bought it for the title. I mean, Stine Tinglers is a good title. And it's, um, I wanted to do one. It's ten short stories. All new short stories. Which turned out to be hard. It's like writing ten novels. You still need a beginning, a middle, and an end, right? Oh, you need 10. And then she said, well, I'd like to buy three of them.

And I never say, you know, I never, this is my, my big flaw in life, is that I always say yes to everything. So I said, okay, fine. So three of these books, that's 30 short stories to write. Can you imagine? And it was all my idea. That's what I was working on this morning. I have, I'm in the middle of Stine Tinglers three and I have four more short stories to go.

Jaclyn: Okay. And when will these hit the shelves?

Bob: Well, the next Stine Tinglers 2 is out in September.

Jaclyn: Okay. All right. Great.

Bob: Ten more stories. Yeah, it's fun. It's something different. It's nice. They're nice books.

Jaclyn: All right. So, I, yeah, I wanted to do some of life story things as we think more about if and how kindness has played a role today that we would have some of the the backbone to build off of.

Um, and so yeah, thank you for sharing that. Was there anything for you? You've, you know, hit on some of this already with your childhood, um, where unkindness contributed, um, to who you were, how you thought about your books, or anything you'd be willing to share there?

Bob: Yeah, I like that. I have a few stories that- you make me laugh.

Um, what I did when I started out, I was fourth grade and I would start doing these little comic books and joke books and that's what I would do in my room. I'd write these things and then I would bring them into school and pass them around. To get attention and, you know, to my friends and pass them around.

People always ask me, was there a special teacher who encouraged you? A teacher who encouraged you to write and, you know, a special teacher. And I have the absolute worst answer for that. Because my teachers begged me to stop. They begged me. This, Bob, please don't bring these in anymore. Bob, please, please don't bring these in.

And I've always thought that if they hadn't begged me to stop, I might have stopped. It worked, uh, to your benefit. So my editor, uh, Susan Lurie has been my editor of the Goosebumps books almost for the whole 30 years we've been doing it. She's been, I've had, Susan is the editor and we still speak to each other, which is kind of amazing.

Right? After doing like 150 books together. And Susan has a wonderful kind compliment for me. She says I'm great at creating full blown cardboard characters. I've been talking about unkind compliments lately. I was up in, uh, Amherst. I did a, uh, talk, an author talk at UMass. And was interviewed by, these college kids were wonderful.

I should only do colleges. They were just terrific. And had a great evening. And the next day, the campus newspaper wrote an article about my author talk. And the writer described me as, Spry. That's not a compliment.

Spry is not a compliment, right?

Jaclyn: Yeah.

Bob: I think, you know, I got up on stage without a walker. That's spry. Have you ever heard a, you ever hear a young person described as spry?

Jaclyn: No. Yeah, that's true.

Bob: Never. That's right. So I've been thinking about compliments that aren't really compliments.

Jaclyn: Yeah. Yeah, I think sometimes we've seen this idea of truthfulness being kind or like on, like the role of honesty or directness, you know, clarity is kind like that idea, but there's definitely a spectrum and it can easily shift into unkindness.

I agree with that. So okay, you're a dad, am I right? You're a father, now a grandfather. Is that true?

Bob: Very true. Yes, yes, definitely. 

Jaclyn: Yes. How many kids do you have?

Bob: My son, Matt, I have one Matt, one son. He's a Broadway musical guy. He's on Broadway. My little boy is, uh, my little boy is 43. How hard is that to say?

He's, he's middle age. My, my little boy is aged. He has my grandson, Dylan and Mia, who's four.

Jaclyn: All right. 

Bob: That's that whole story.

Jaclyn: So let's, let's imagine that Matt, Dylan, and Mia are here with us. And Mia's coming and saying, what does she call you? Grandpa. Pop pop. 

Bob: Grandpa. She's four years old. She calls me Bobby Boy.

Jaclyn: Bobby boy. Okay.

Bob: Bobby boy. Her other, her other I know, it's horrible. Her other grandfather is grandpa. He's grandpa. I'm Bobby boy.

Jaclyn: Alright.

Bob:  Isn't that unbelievable?

Jaclyn: I love her. I love her already. Um, I'll still call you Bob, but, um, okay.

Bob: She's like four. Her doctor's scared of her because she's like a year ahead of herself.

Yeah. She's like in preschool and she's like singing songs in Mandarin. Oh, She's like bizarre. And my family, every year we have this tradition of going to St. Croix. At Christmas, we've been doing it for 30 years, we couldn't go this year, but, uh, my daughter in law took Matt, took, um, Mia and Dylan to St. Croix for a beach weekend, week down there over Christmas, and they came back and I said, Mia, what was your favorite part of St. Croix? And she said the daiquiris.

Jaclyn: A girl after my own heart. I love it.

Bob: Four.

Jaclyn: Four going on fourteen. Um, or maybe forty.

Bob: Maybe forty.

Jaclyn: So, but, okay. So Mia, Mia's here in imaginary land.

Um, but she's like, Bobby Boy. I'm learning a lot about kindness at school. Like, why does kindness matter? What do you think kindness means for me? What, what would your advice be to her?

Bob: Mia, go jump in the swimming pool. Don't ask me questions. 

Jaclyn: Don't ask me questions. 

Bob: My son, Matt, luckily was not the kind of kid who ever confided in us.

He, like, just kept everything to himself and, uh, like when we took him to kindergarten, he was five and I picked him up, I said, Matt, what did you do today? And he said, I can't tell you it's too special. So we had like, we had no family discussions ever. We never had to sit down and have a family discussion because he wouldn't put up with it. We didn't have it.

Jaclyn: Really?

Bob: Yeah.

Jaclyn: But you still felt, did you still feel close with him? Sounds like you have a great relationship.

Bob: At this minute, he called me 10 minutes ago. He just took the kids to a water park this morning.

Jaclyn: Oh, I love it.

Bob: Um, Yeah, he's a telephone guy. He calls me every day, Matt.

No, we're very close. And yeah, but you know, he calls me every morning and he never says, Dad, are you working? Never. Dad, are you busy? Are you working? He just starts in, right? Not once does he say, Are you writing now? No.

Jaclyn: But I love that you always take the call.

Bob: Well, of course. Yes, yeah. Of course. No, I hear from him every day. Yeah. He was the telephone generation. The phone call generation. Not the iPad generation or whatever.

Jaclyn: I, I have two little ones. Uh, one is close to Mia’s age. And, um, and how old is Dylan?

Bob: Nine.

Jaclyn: Nine. Okay, so mine are five and two. Uh, does Dylan read your books?

Bob: He reads Captain Underpants and Wimpy Kid.

Jaclyn: Okay.

Bob: Carrying on a family tradition of not reading my books.

Jaclyn: Oh no. Did, Matt didn't read your books?

Bob: Never. His claim to fame, he never read a Goosebumps book.

Jaclyn: Still to this day?

Bob: Isn't that horrible?  Just to get Dad, just to make Dad mad, he read, Matt read only Garfield Comics. His whole childhood.

That's all he read, Garfield comics. Then he went to college and he was an English major. But he never read. He used to take Goosebumps into his friends. He would bring them. And then he would come home and he'd say, Dad, you have to put Will in the next one. Or you have to put Jack in the next. He would sell parts in Goosebumps.

I think kids gave him like 10 bucks to be in the next Goosebumps book. But he never... He cashed in, but he never read one.

Jaclyn: and you obliged.

Bob: Of course. Of course. I always did it. I always say yes to everything. I don't know if that's an act of kindness Jaclyn. Here, look, I'm on this podcast.

Jaclyn: Yes, I'm so happy you said yes.

I bet this is probably different to everything you talk about normally.

Bob: Yes, as you can tell.

Jaclyn: Yeah, but there's also the examples, you know, to go back to the beginning, the beautiful examples you gave, very heartfelt, real examples, um, of the caregivers for, for your wife. And I bet how they're showing up. You know, you're feeling it.

You see it, it's tangible, and we're so grateful for their kindness that they're showing to both of you.

Bob: There are a lot of kind people in this world. I was in the hospital for a few days earlier in the year, and you just, you can't believe the kindness of the nurses.  Who run the hospital, of course.

There's wonderful people, incredible, patient people who work 12 hour shifts. They work 12 hour shifts. And they're, they're just, they're unbelievable. I couldn't do anything for 12 hours. I couldn't even sleep for 12 hours. Let alone, I couldn't do anything. 

Jaclyn: Yeah, yeah, that's true. 

Bob: There are a lot of kind people.

Jaclyn: Yeah, yeah, definitely in healthcare.

What, what do you think are the qualities? When you think of a kind person, I'm curious, what do you conjure?

Bob: Patience, I think.

Jaclyn: Patience. Kindness is patience.

Bob: I'm not a patient person. Yeah, I think patience.

Jaclyn: Yeah, it is hard to be patient, and I'm... I feel that a lot as a mom of younger kids. I work a lot on that and I, I wouldn't say I've translated it to kindness, but it's really good. Thank you.

Bob: No, that's hard. Yeah. Patience.

Jaclyn: Yeah. Yeah. My, um, my five-year-old sounds somewhat kindred. He's a kindred spirit to Matt. He's very private. with his surroundings and what's happening at school. Um, and I kind of, I kind of love it. You know, it's his own world and, and we, he has his own world with us and he doesn't mingle them often.

Bob: Yeah. We went in for a school teacher conference. I forget how old Matt was, six or seven or eight. The teacher said, well, of course you must see a lot of Noah. You must hear a lot about Noah. I said, who? Who's? Noah. Turned out he had a best friend. He never told us. He had this impeccable friend, Noah. He never told us about him.

We were shocked.

Jaclyn: Did you get to meet Noah after that? Did he ever get brought into

Bob: A lot. Noah was over a lot after that.

Jaclyn: Um, okay. So I'm wondering, you have a lot of projects in front of you right now. So you talked about, uh, the Stine Tinglers. Very exciting.

Bob: Jaclyn, I should be lying by the pool. I'm old. I shouldn't be doing all this. Luckily, I'm still spry, but I should, I have, my writing life is out of control. I'm still doing four Goosebumps books a year, 31 years later.

I'm doing the Stine Tinglers, short story series for Macmillan. Now I'm a big hit in comic books. It's like full circle. I'm doing these horror comics for adults called Stuff of Nightmares. And Stuff of Nightmares was the number one graphic novel at Amazon when it came out. I'm a big hit with comic books.

Yeah. And I also have a novel for a new publisher, a kid's novel called Slime Doesn't Pay, coming out this fall. I've never been busier. It's weird.

Jaclyn: Do you love it? Is there a part of you that just wants to truly be by the pool or you're kind of secretly so happy?

Bob: Yeah. That's not secret. No, I still love it. And I, my, my real life is pretty horrible these days.

And so with Jane being sick and I tell you the three or four hours I spend every day writing, those are the best hours of my day. No, I still love it, I don't know why, why do I like it so much? I don't know. But I, before I talked to you, I was here working on a short story for three hours before I talked to you.

Jaclyn: Is there any insight, look behind the curtain, you can tell us about how you get inspired. All your stories, it's like, I mean, I guess, a loose template is followed, but um, they're so distinct and creative and imaginative. Like, how, how does, yeah, how does it keep coming?

Bob: I don't know. I don't know. I, I can never, you know, an author's most asked question is where do you get your ideas?

And I can't answer it at all. And I, two thirds of my fan mail starts like this, Dear R.L. Stine, our teacher is forcing us to write to an author, and I chose you. Where do you get your ideas from? That's most of the mail. 

Jaclyn: Amazing! 

Bob: Right? Yeah. And I always wonder, you know, I mean, we all have ideas, right? 

And it's mainly, That I'm always thinking about it. I, you know, if I'm walking down, I was walking down West End Avenue here in New York, walking my dog, and this boy walked by with his mother. And as I crossed the street, the boy said, I'm the only one who can stay in the lines when we color. And I thought, Wow.

What, what, what would happen if you were coloring something and you couldn't stay in the line? What if you were doing a monster coloring book? And if you came outside the lines, the monster would come to you. And I had this story idea just by walking by this kid and his mother. So I think it's all, Getting ideas, I think, is a matter of being alert to it and being thinking about it all the time.

Jaclyn: Yeah. Well, okay, when you sit down, do you have, like, a routine all these years later? Do you have some kind of, like, one, two, three steps you always sit and do before you begin writing?

Bob: No, I'm a machine. I work the same hours every day. Sit there. It's like factory work. And, uh, but what I do is, um, I, I write 2,000 words a day.

I just make sure I do 2,000 words. And when I hit 2,000 on the computer, when I hit 2,000, I just quit. No matter where I am, I've done my 2,000 and then I just go walk the dog. That's my little game that I play.

Jaclyn: It's a good one. 

Bob: No, I don't. Writing is just, it's always been easy for me. You know, you enjoy doing what's easy for you.

Yeah. It's the only thing I've ever been competent at. You could ask my wife. It's the only thing I can really do well.

Jaclyn: Um, if you'd be willing to share, I'd be curious if you and your parents ever revisited, you know, did they get to see your success and did you ever revisit any of maybe the tension that might've been there when you were always writing and they were telling you not to write?

Bob: Well, they loved getting the checks every month. They loved that part. My mother pretended to be a fan. My father, you know, I had bad parents. My dad never read a word I wrote. He never, he was not interested. And my mother tried, she tried to be a good fan, but I remember I was, um, we, the Goosebumps TV show went on Fox and it was, uh, we had a primetime show.

I used to introduce the primetime Goosebumps shows and it was my first time ever on television. And so it was really exciting. It's an exciting thing to have a primetime series and to be the host. My parents lived out in California where I'm in New York and I waited, um, till after California time when the show was on, on Fox and, uh, called my mom.

I said, mom, what'd you think? She watched. What did you think? She said, wouldn't you know it? I fell asleep. Wouldn't you know it? Do you have a tape? I fell asleep. Wouldn't you know it? That was kind of typical. You know, talk about unkindness, but somehow it never, it always seemed funny to me, all that stuff.

Jaclyn: Really? Do you think that that was a defense mechanism of some sort?

Bob: No, never bothered me, but my brother it bothered. He was the middle kid. Yeah. And he needed, he needed more attention, my brother. I was always the grown-up. You know, when you grow up, you realize you're the adult in the family. And the other stuff doesn't really touch you so much.

Boy, am I getting serious. But, um.

Jaclyn: No, thank you. I appreciate it. Um, do you think how... How you were raised and, and these examples of your parents, did that do a 180 for who you were as a dad to Matt? Were you very invested? Are you invested?

Bob: You know, they were perfect bad examples. of how not to be parents.

For one thing, my mother was just constantly, don't do that, you'll poke your eye out. Don't climb a tree, you'll break your leg. Don't go swimming, you'll drown. Don't do, totally inhibiting, just totally. And which sticks with you a lot. So that was a really good example of what not to do with Matt.

So I think... [dog begins to bark] There he goes. Hi, Lucky. There goes Lucky.

Jaclyn: Woo! We got far into it. Um, yeah. So we're, we're winding down here in a little bit and I'm curious. I know this, again, is probably different than a lot of the interviews, but anything that you would want to say about kindness in any capacity that we didn't already hit on.

Bob: Well, listen, I think you're doing good work here.

I think this is a great time to talk about kindness because there's such, I don't understand why people are so angry. And you see, politically, and you see people in the news, they're, they're angry, and I, some of it may be because of all the years of COVID and the restrictions, and, but you see people at airports and people in any kind of group activities now, and they're angry, they're angry, people are angry, and I don't, I don't really understand it.

So I do think it's a good time to talk about kindness. I don't really get all the anger.

Jaclyn: Mm hmm. I love that. Um, what would you say about kindness? You know, to the point of the question that we kind of titled the podcast, why kindness? What, what would you say to that? Why kindness?

Bob: This is the antidote, I think, to all this anger.

Jaclyn: Love that. Beautiful. Thank you. Um, I have kind of some rapid fire questions, so it's just kind of like off the cuff. I'll just throw things out. Um, if you could get everyone around the world to do one kind act, what's the act you would tell them to do?

Bob: I think buy a Goosebumps book.

Jaclyn: Okay, noted.

All right. Yeah, your publisher's going to love this. What book are you reading right now?

Bob: I read a lot of mysteries and thrillers, and now I'm reading the old Perry Mason novels by Earl Stanley Gardner. He was the most popular author of the 1940s. And you don't know Perry Mason, the lawyer?

Jaclyn: Mm mm.

Bob: No? There was a big TV series.

There was a recent HBO series of Perry Mason, starring Matthew Rhys. Wonderful, wonderful series. Um, so I'm reading those old novels from the 40s. They're courtroom dramas. And they're wonderful. They're really good. I've been reading that. And I just finished a wonderful mystery by a woman named Katie Williams.

It's called My Murder. And it's, I read a lot of mysteries, but this one is very tricky and twisty and very clever. I highly recommend it.

Jaclyn: Okay. Amazing. Define kindness in one word.

Bob: Patience.

Jaclyn: Patience. Yes. Good. Anything that you want to say that you didn't get to say?

Bob: No. I really enjoyed talking with you.

This was a lot of fun.

Jaclyn: Same. Thank you. Um, our final thing. We love to end choosing kindness. Um, our friends at Verizon are sponsoring this first season of the Why Kindness podcast as part of the Call for Kindness campaign, which is actually, to your point, helping people overcome all the negativity and anger that's out there and responding with kindness.

That's the whole intention. Uh, and so we always end asking our guests to choose kindness. And that can look like telling us who you'll reach out to. Um, but we really want you to think about who could you reach out to, to let them know what they mean to you, um, why you're grateful for them. Uh, so we've had some guests do it right in the moment they send a text message, or you can let us know who you'd be willing to reach out to and just let them know in an, in an act of kindness that you're thinking of them.

Bob: I’ll take a week and think about that one.

Jaclyn: Okay. So we're going to, yeah, we're going to have you come back to us. All right. Maybe, maybe Mia, Mia and Dylan.

Bob: Maybe, I'm too good to them.

Jaclyn: Okay. Well, thank you. I'm going to check in and let me know who you, who you think.

Bob: All right. Okay, we'll do it.

Jaclyn (Outro): Thank you so much for joining us on this week's episode of the Why Kindness podcast, sponsored by our friends at Verizon. To learn more about everything you heard today from our wonderful guests, definitely check out our show notes. We hope you're leaving this episode inspired and reminded that every kind act truly does make a difference.

We'd love to hear how you're choosing kindness in your day to day. We write back to every email, so let us know what you think. And please leave a review on Apple podcasts or Spotify. This podcast is one of the many ways we live out our organization's mission to educate and inspire people to choose kindness.

Visit our site today at kindness.org and sign up to become a part of our global community, which spans more than a hundred countries. It's free to join, and one of the many benefits includes being the first to get access to our latest research tools and even episodes of this podcast. We are so excited to get you involved in building a kinder world.

Please tune in next time as we continue to explore this big question. Why kindness?