This Year More than Ever, Kindness is Needed

This Year More than Ever, Kindness is NeededTwo things happened this morning which made me think about the word kindness and what it means for me. The first was an argument between child one and two which had me thinking about the words we use and the tone we deliver them with and the second was listening to the news and hearing “if it bleeds it leads”  which basically translates to if its “horror and angst” it will draw a media highlight. I thought to myself how often we share good and kind stories with each other and how do we relate to each other on a daily basis.

How are we interacting with others and are we being the best version of ourselves?

As an empath I feel things in bright colors and very deeply and for me kindness is a pretty big deal so I wonder if I am currently translating that enough in my life?

Kindness in Our Current Climate

In our current climate worldwide things are pretty borderline to say the least and if you ask my opinion much of the “bleeding is leading” dominates our lives and it would be hard to believe that acts of kindness are happening all around us all the time. Just last week there were opportunities to donate to the victims of the hurricanes that have swept through Texas. Kids are reading to dogs and loving on them in shelters. On a broader scale in South Africa restaurants who can barely keep themselves functioning have opened their kitchens and are feeding hundreds of poor kids daily. Another ‘123Braai’ lead by Andrew organized a beach day for kids that had never seen the ocean or smelt the sea and felt the soft beach sand in their toes. Photographs of children running through the waves whooping with joy and yet have no homes filled my feed and it really made me believe in humanity again. Sean an old work colleague has taken to the streets of Gauteng picking up trash and is recycling it into trash cans and park benches. His example of kindness to the planet is teaching others to do the same. Acts of service are happening all over the world and it should be reminding us about the good in the world and to do more.

What is Kindness?

Kindness does not need to be a doing word it can also be an expression of mutual respect when we are interacting with others or a little glimmer of hope in someones day. It can be a word of affirmation or something as simple as a smile. It can be patience when we are at our wits end or empathy for those we come into contact with who have less or are dealing with more.

Kindness is meaningful behavior and it should be the norm.

Kindness While Masking 

I found it pretty hard this year in expressing “instant” kindness from behind my mask as I  have always been able to express myself through my smile and found it especially frustrating being hidden behind a mask. I wonder if it has made me kindness lazy in a way.

They say the eyes are the window to the soul but I think the smile is the window to the heart and it reminds me that kindness is a decision very much like love. We decide to be kind as much as we decide to love and if these are decisions then surely they can be taught and shared and perhaps like a domino effect- one kindness can lead to another. Mask or no mask let us not let the harsh world dictate how we act and react.

Day of Celebration

World Kindness Day is celebrated annually on November 13. On this day people who participate attempt to make the world a better place by doing good deeds and showing acts of kindness either in their individual capacity or as an organization.

If you were wondering how this day came about I will include this insert.

“World kindness day was first launched in 1998 by The World Kindness Movement, an organization formed at a 1997 Tokyo conference of like-minded kindness organizations from all around the world. There are currently over 28 nations involved in The World Kindness Movement which is not affiliated with any religion or political movement. The mission of the World Kindness Movement and World Kindness day is to create a kinder world by inspiring individuals and nations towards greater kindness”

Acts of Kindness

I have put together a small list of acts of kindness that perhaps you and your family can do to honor this day – and try to include into an every kind of day day.

  • Acknowledge your loved ones and be thankful for them. 
  • Next time siblings annoy each other – don’t bite and blow up the situation. {guilty}
  • Say thank you – make eye contact and mean it.
  • Acknowledge the person speaking to you and actually LISTEN to what is being said.
  • Show respect to your elders.
  • Greet the till person and those that pack your bags in grocery stores and others in the service industry.
  • Count to 5 before you blow the horn at the red traffic light when someone is not fast enough.
  • Show patience when others don’t.
  • The first 3 minutes of your kids days are so important – when they wake up try make those minutes count.
  • Pick up litter in your neighborhood and be kind to our planet. 
  • Help animals in need – be kind to those that don’t have a voice.
  • Teach your kids to be kind to the kids that don’t feel like they are part of anything or to show a kindness to someone that is lonely. You don’t know the full story so empathy is key. Be inclusive. 
  • Clean out that playroom and closet and donate to your local Salvation Army. There are so many that have lost so much this year.
  • Start a meal train and help a friend in need.
  • Let someone cut the line without the road rage.
  • Buy a coffee for someone that looks like they need it. 
  • Take a few old handbags and fill them with female necessities and give them away at traffic lights or under the fly overs where people are sleeping cold. 
  • Winter is coming so donate those unused blankets and winter ware.
  • Visit the retirement home and read to those that have no family.
  • Don’t be a key board warrior and choose your words wisely and kindly. SCROLL ON if you don’t agree with what you see.
  • Be patient with others and respect their opinion.
  • Mental wellness is a real health crisis, especially in 2020 – think before you speak, assume, presume or accuse. 
  • Compliment someone – anyone. 
  • Forgive easily including yourself.
  • Be kind to YOURSELF. Self love is especially important and don’t forget “smile and the world smiles with you”

Advice from a Mother

My mother always said the sharpest knife in the drawer is that of the tongue – it cuts fast, deep and leaves the worst scars, so if you cannot say something nice just be quiet and basically don’t be an ass.

Lead by example.

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Karen is a full figured and full of life kind of girl. She commands a room even when she feels awkward and insecure. She’s well traveled, even for a small town pig farmer’s daughter. Karen is intolerant of “blinker mentality” and a fierce fighter for the underdog. A lover of good food, good people and good wine, even if it comes in a box, she can tell one helluva story. She graduated from the school of life, and shows a trend of learning the hard way. Cape Town South Africa, her stomping ground, holds an infinity of “you did what?” kind of stories. With a background in office interior design and sales, Karen loves anything pretty with a good clean line. She is a sucker for clothes and a good lipstick. Married to the man of her dreams, they immediately started their life together on the shores of Lagos, Nigeria. This is where she found the chutzpah of what makes her heart swell, her brow sweat, and her mind tick. It took this crazy, busy and vibrant city for Karen to come into her own. Feet solidly in the sands of African soil made her realize the depths of her soul and what she brings to any conversation. True grit. It was in these six beautiful years that she had her two gorgeous, feisty and strong daughters. She refers to them lovingly as IT 1 and IT 2. IT 1 and IT 2 are 18 months apart and do not get along. It’s a daily grind to get them to be cordial without a push or a shove. Certainly “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” takes on a whole new meaning. Houston welcomed this unique African family into their arms and hugged them tightly. It has been a safety never experienced before and has offered her a world of testing the waters to growing personal self, pushing boundaries and overcoming her fears. The writing platform is part of her creative Piscean self, and through this, she will hopefully fill your home with stories enough to spark a conversation, a different perspective and a laugh.


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