In the earliest days of MakeLifeClick, we spent time exploring the 7 values that underpin the community. These are:
We explored each of these in season 1 of the podcast – you can listen to the final wrap-up episode here.
Alongside the podcast, members of the community wrote some heartfelt posts, expressing what these words/values mean to them.
Over the next while, we’ll be sharing some of these. Here’s a piece by Jez, exploring Kindness…
When I was asked to contribute to MakeLifeClick I was delighted. When I was asked to share my thoughts on ‘kindness’ I felt to be honest a little overwhelmed, after all I’m no Lao Tzu!
Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.
So rather than attempt a philosophical introspective I thought I’d reflect on the roller-coaster of this year and see what it has taught about ‘kindness’.
No one will argue that 2020 hasn’t been tough. This year will be a moment in history that will not just be remembered but chronicled and talked about for decades to come.
However, amongst the gloom of living through a pandemic there have been positives. As a society we have pulled together, eschewing some of the behaviours that define 21st century life. Lock-down has forced us to live a simpler, more local, more connected life, even if just for a short time.
It’s challenged many to consider and think differently about loved ones, friends and neighbours. It’s challenged us to look and value differently the people whose jobs we rely on day-to-day – NHS staff, postal workers, delivery drivers and refuse collectors. 2020 has forced us to become less obsessed with what we have, and to become more aware of the fragility of life itself.
The realisation we are part of communities has led to lovely, overt acts of kindness everywhere, rainbows in windows, shopping for the shielded, and Captain Tom’s long walk. The list of things we’ve done for one another is long; being kinder to one another has become something a little more normal.
2020 may be the year we all want to forget but it’s really been the year we have woken up to what it means to be a part of caring, kinder society. The end. That wasn’t too hard was it…
Hold on, but it’s not really that simple, is it?
For every example of acts of kindness, there are examples of the opposite. There are still shootings and stabbings happening in our cities, there are still people living rough on our streets and there are still politicians showing a lack of empathy and regard to the society they’re elected to represent.
The public gloss of those acts of kindness that made the headlines during 2020 will no doubt fade. If our society is to genuinely become a little kinder, we all must use our experiences of living through the pandemic to look not only at our behaviours but to question our values and beliefs about the role we all play in making our world just that little bit more kind.
I wonder, as 2020 draws to a close and the hopeful glimmers of life post-pandemic grow, how many people will reflect on their own lived experiences and will learn something about what it means to be part of kinder more generous world?
So, what does kindness mean to me? Yes, kindness is about the occasional random act or outward demonstration or display. But if it is to be sustained it must be more than that. Kindness should be a state of being, a part of who we are, an element of our identity that plays a part in forming the decisions we make every day of our lives.
~ By Jez