We are all thinking about the turmoil the USA is in right now. But I’m thinking about how can I help people – what can I do to be of some service. Yesterday, I talked about my neighbor Mrs. Brown. I remembered my first Christmas in DC. She knew I didn’t go home to Louisiana. On Christmas evening Mrs. Brown knocked on my door with a plate of food, a bottle of Champagne and a little gift for me to unwrap. To me this is the idea of being kind to your neighbors. I try to be like this to all my neighbors. Oh, by the way, Mrs. Brown is black and I’m white.
The Kindly Brothers
“The kindly Brothers there saw the potential good in me – and they nurtured my mind, even as they nursed my ravaged body back to health.” - Plastic Man*
Patrick “The Eel” O’Brian was a slippery and hard to catch criminal. He and his gang were breaking into the Crawford Chemical Plant when a night watchman caught them. Eel O’Brian was shot and inadvertently sprayed with a chemical. O’Brian escaped into the mountains. Delirious and near death O’Brian was found by a group of Monks and taken back to the Monastery. These “Kindly Brothers” nursed him back to health Physically Spiritually and Emotionally. In his recuperation O’Brian found the chemicals changed his body. He could bend and stretch into any form or any length. Upon leaving the monastery O’Brian was dissatisfied with a life of crime and sought to redeem himself. Taking the name “Plastic Man” and fighting crime but keeping his “Eel O’Brian” connections to secretly infiltrate the underworld. Soon Plastic Man joins the Police Force, the FBI and later the JSA. Plastic Man has also been a member of the All-Star Squadron, Freedom Fighters and the JLA.
“Whoever you are, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers,” Blanche Dubois’ famous line from Tennessee Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire., is powerful and poignant. Where would Plastic Man be if not for the “Kindly Brothers”? Where would recovering Alcoholics and Addicts be if not for other recovering strangers? There is nothing wrong with being kind to strangers. Your neighbor, the little old lady, would appreciate help with her groceries. Don’t forget the person who falls on the sidewalk, embarrassed as they are, would appreciate help up and a kind word. We never know what the kindness we offer will do – it might in a little way change someone’s’ life forever.
First Appearance: Police Comic #1 (August 1941), DC Comics, Quality Comics
Creators: Jack Cole
* “The Tyrant Out of Time”, the All-Star Squadron, #2, October 1981