Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Kindness, or Why I'm a Huge Fan of Taylor Swift

At the outset of this year I made one New Years' Resolution, and I'd like to share it with the faithful readers. For my resolution I have chosen two people whom I greatly admire and would like to emulate. My first choice was obvious; I want to be more like the pope. Pope Francis has become a daily inspiration to the world, Catholics and otherwise, making him an obvious choice of a strong, Christlike person whom I could use as a good example of how to live my life with more empathy, understanding, and love.

Four for you, Pope Francis! You go Pope Francis. via

My second choice is perhaps less obvious, and the inspiration for writing this post. The other person I want to become more like is Taylor Swift.

No, this is not a joke. Taylor Swift is not only a creative superstar (have you heard 1989?) and recently outed feminist, but one of the kindest, most caring celebrities today.

Don't believe me? You probably didn't hear about Swiftmas.

Some of you, like me, are feeling a little emotional right now. Others are rolling your eyes, saying, "Brooke, how gullible are you? It's obviously a PR stunt." You know what? I don't care. PR stunt or not, Taylor Swift took time out of her schedule to make a few of her fans ridiculously happy. She didn't just order gifts online and send them straight to the fans' houses either--she bought them, brought them to her apartment, hand-wrapped each one, and wrote thoughtful cards for each person. I don't remember the last time I got a card as long or as thoughtful as the cards Taylor Swift wrote to her devotees. I don't remember the last time I wrote a card like that either.

This isn't the only time she's gone out of her way to make a fan feel special. Taylor is a regular tumblr user and she replies to fans who send her videos, comments, and jokes via the social networking site.

I could go for a care package right about now. via

She has also kept up sending packages. Recently some of her Swifties received Valentine's packages. One of her devout followers made a Taylor Swift gal pals/Friends (yes the 90s TV show that stole our hearts as well as the recently watched slot in our Netflix accounts) video and she received a check from Taylor herself not long after to help pay off her student loans.

She takes time to connect with fans over industry giants. Who got to hear 1989 first in all its synth-pop glory? Fans. She invited them to her home(s) and gave power back to the people who gave her power in the first place.

Why, yes, Taylor freaking Swift, I'd love to have a cookie that you made special for me. via

Bonus: Taylor named her cats after strong female characters from TV shows that employ females and minorities in regular roles. Also, most of her special events and signature things are puns on her name (Swifties, Swiftmas, Swiftnic, taylurking, T-parties, etc.).

No, my resolution is not to try to connect to more people via social media or name my cats after great characters. It is not to send random checks to people I've stalked on tumblr or to write a record-breaking album.It's not necessarily to write my own music (I'm better at parodies anyway). It's not even to hold really cool listening parties with homemade cookies. No, my resolution is to make people feel loved and important.

I have students, family members, friends, and acquaintances all over the world, and Taylor Swift simply doesn't have the time to make each and every one of them feel special. I can certainly try. I will use 2015 to reach out to others and make them feel loved. If an international superstar can do it, why can't I?