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Lady Gaga says new book teaches us how to fill the "negative space" with kindness

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This week, Lady Gaga and her mom Cynthia Germanotta released Channel Kindness: Stories of Kindness and Community, which collects the stories of young people who’ve shared how they’ve overcome adversity.  But Gaga also shares her own story of adversity: a run-in with bullies back in her school days that she says taught her a valuable lesson.

The story’s called “The Value of Negative Space,” and, as she tells ABC News, “In this story in particular, what I extrapolated from my experience as a young woman was that…if you hear someone say something mean to someone else, and there’s silence, that’s…’negative space.’ [And] we should fill that space with kindness.”

“We should fill that space with kind words. We should fill that space with kind actions,” she continues. “We can stand up for someone. We can walk over to someone and say, ‘Are you OK? I heard that. Did that make you feel sad? How do you feel? Can I help you?'”

The Oscar-winning star also explains how, surprisingly, she believes being kind goes hand-in-hand with being brave.

“When someone is not being kind, you have to stand up to something that’s negative and that requires bravery,” she explains. “It requires a lot of humility as well. And it requires a risk — because that person then might direct that negativity towards you, and maybe you don’t want that.”

But, Gaga notes, kindness isn’t just about helping others: It’s about helping yourself, too.

“Kindness is not just an outward thing that we do. Being kind to yourself is actually more important, I believe, than the outward kindness,” she explains. “Because you become better at the outward kindness to others when you take care of you.”

Channel Kindness is out now.

By Andrea Dresdale
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