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You never lose by loving, you only lose by holding back

I wish I could tell you that we live in a perfect world. But I’d be lying. The truth is, although humanity has come a long way in terms of technological advancement, this is not our finest hour. We still battle war, disease, famine, corruption, racism and inequality worldwide, and it seems that thousands of years of civilisation have taught us little about being humane. We are living in anxious times indeed.


Last May, I took my daughters to an Ariana Grande concert in Amsterdam. The girls had been looking forward to the event for weeks and we had an absolutely fantastic time. But just a few days later, after the pop star’s gig in Manchester, a terrorist detonated a bomb in the departing crowd. Twenty-two innocent people lost their lives in that split second.


It shook my world to realise that it could have been us leaving the stadium, carefree and happy. Even more terrifying is the fact that it can happen anywhere, any time and any place. Its shocking cruelty serves only to divide and harden people’s hearts, to cause fear and distrust – which is how hatred thrives. But the outpouring of support and care from complete strangers in the aftermath of the attack showed that goodness, too, is all around us and that we have a choice in how we react.


Do we close our eyes to the suffering of strangers and live in fear? Or do we celebrate life, its beautiful diversity, and make kindness and compassion our priority? We’re all very different people but the human heart only desires one simple thing: to love and be loved.


So, if there is anything you want to give to others this holiday season, let it be an unforgettable experience. Let it be a lasting memory. Let it be forgiveness, your time and your attention. But most of all, let it be a gift from a kind and open heart.

Raymond Cloosterman
Founder & CEO Rituals Cosmetics