Early in January, I posted that My 2020 Word Of The Year is Values and listed my core values, that define who I am, and how I intend to live my life. This is the third in a series that will examine each of the core values that are important to me.
I don’t want to sound at all like a saint, because I’m not, but I do try to be kind to others, as a general rule. Being kind to others always makes the world feel like a much better place. The act of simply being kind to another person, for no reason at all, can brighten the day. Showing kindness, usually causes the other person to smile. For my mind, there are just not enough reasons out in the world today to smile. There is so much bad news around, causing worry and anxiety. Surely, if we can be kind to each other, in these difficult times, then that will help us to cope with the stress that seems to be all around us. At least that’s my opinion.
My view of kindness is not only about being kind to others, it’s also about being kind to ourselves. This is vitally important for our well-being. We often forget about that. We need to make the time for self care, whatever that means to you. It could be going for a massage, taking time out to read a book, catching up with friends, going for a walk, just as a few examples. In the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, it’s more important than it ever was, to be kind to ourselves.
Do you ever think of the negative self talk that goes on in your head? That voice in your head that constantly runs you down, and chastises you. That voice is usually not at all kind, in fact it is often extremely mean and unkind. We need to recognise that voice, and do our best to override it with kindness.
Recently I posted about attending the The You Project Conference , and the impact that it had on me. One of the guest speakers was Brad McEwan, a former Network TEN presenter with more than 20 years of experience in reporting and presenting the latest in sport news. Brad walked away from that position a few years ago and has had a complete change in his career and goals. He is now much in demand as a speaker, provides workshops, presentations and mentoring focusing on mental health and well being. Most importantly for me, Brad is also an advocate of kindness. He is also a Beyond Blue ambassador
I felt as though Brad was my friend before the conference even began. As a keen football and sports fan, I had been happy to have him in my loungeroom, on the news every night for years. I was very keen to listen to all that he had to say at the conference, and he didn’t disappoint as he spoke about his experiences of kindness and the effect it had on others. His idea is that if kindness is shown in the workplace, it has a positive effect on the culture of that workplace.
Audio Book – Kindness
I love listening to audio books. They make the long drive to work and back, just a bit more bearable. Recently I listened to an audio book called Making Peace by Fiona McCallum. It wasn’t a genre that I would normally read, but it seems to have chosen me at the right time.
The theme of this novel, is kindesss and the butterfly effect that kindess has. For example, the lead character in the book was generous enough to show kindness to the man who was driving the truck that struck and killed her parents. There was a huge butterfly effect caused by this act of kindness, which made a positive difference to both of their lives, their families and their friends. The storyline of this novel shows perfect examples of how important kindness is, and how being kind can actually improve our lives.
*butterfly effect: A small change can make much bigger changes happen; that one small incident can have a big impact in the future. The idea started from weather prediction. – Wikipedia
Lack of Kindness
It does worry me that the world has become more selfish, and kindness isn’t thought to be important. But I am aware that my view could be coloured by my world view. Over the past few days I’ve seen the result that a lack of kindness can cause. It has been horrible to witness!
The great toilet paper panic has been alive and well at my workplace. As everyone is aware, because of Covid19, Australia has gone into a panic of stockpiling toilet paper, in readiness for self quarantine.
This is even occurring in the small central Victorian town where I work, and where there has been no evidence yet of the virus occurring. Late last week there was panic buying of toilet paper, emptying our shelves in minutes. Later that day, when more stocks arrived, there was chaos as the staff member was wheeling a trolley load of toilet paper to the shelf. He was rushed, pushed and manhandled, as people were trying to quickly grab packs of toilet paper. They were also grabbing it off each other, and it was all for one and one for all, with no thought for anyone else. We have had scenes like this, every time a new delivery arrives. There is no thought given at all to people who genuinely need toilet paper. I have seen a young mum crying because she was out of toilet paper and couldn’t get it. The selfishness has been unbelievable to watch.
To me, this lack of thought for others and ‘me’ attitude is abhorrent. There has been no kindness shown to others at all. Lately, I have been dreading going to work because of this, and really hope that it all ends soon.
The thing that amazes me is that it is only a few weeks ago everyone came together in kindness and generosity for the victims of the bush fires. Now things have turned and it seems that nobody is caring about others at all. I find that very sad.
Kindness Improves My Life
It does seem natural to include kindness as one of my core values. I know that when I show kindness to others, and kindness to myself, my experience of life is really good. My core values are what keeps my life in alignment. When things are not going well, all I need to do, usually, is check in with my core values and recognise which one is not working. Doing what needs to be done to restore that core value usually causes me to have a positive reset.
Be kind to yourself and others.
Images: pic collage and goodreads