Tolkien On The Power Of Kindness And Love


It had always been a notion of his that the kindness of dear Mr. Frodo was of such a high degree that it must imply a fair measure of blindness.   ( J.R.R. Tolkien  )

This observation comes from Sam’s perspective. Frodo has just threatened Gollum, not out of cruelty, but out of plain hard love, and showed that he recognizes the danger that Gollum presents. Sam is surprised, and this passage shows why. Tolkien show us how Frodo learns to pity Gollum, he learn to love this strange creature and much to the consternation of a very confused Sam, Frodo even begin to treat Gollum kindly, calling him by his real name 'Smeagol', the name he bore before the Ring transformed him into the sad and pathetic Gollum.

Sam suggest that Frodo's kindness is 'blindness', he believes that Frodo cannot see the real nature of the creature but it is not so. Frodo's kindness is, in Tolkien's own words, 'bold love' and that Frodo is well aware of Gollum's true nature. Frodo loves and use kindness but also keeps his guard. The result is that Gollum will respond to the gentle but firm love of Frodo and from time to time the old Smeagol will shine through. As we know in the end Gollum is overcome by his evil fate , but the love and kindness that both Bilbo and Frodo showed him transform Gollum's evil into a good end.

So what is there to learn from Frodo's kindness aimed at Gollum ?  I think we can learn that love  and simple little acts of kindness done everyday by simple folk like hobbits are what in the end will free Middle-earth from evil. Small kind words and deeds done everyday in our lives  towards everyone we meet,  these little acts of love and kindness will reward us with  the good feeling we have done something right.  The little things we do, the few kind words may sometime be ignored by the recipient but this does not make them less special and right. In the end, like Tolkien explain to us, love and kindness are  the only way to go to be happy. 

'Saruman believes that it is only great power that can hold evil in check. But that is not what I have found. I have found it is the small things everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay. Simple acts of kindness and love.'  
( Gandalf - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 2012 )


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