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'Make Kindness the Norm'

"When words are both true and kind, they can change the world." - Jack Kornfield.

Kindness. We are all told how important it is to be kind towards others, particularly when we cannot comprehend the first thing that is happening in another person's life. There are a myriad of quotes that encapsulate the idea of being kind and respectful towards others. "Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about, be kind always," "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," and my personal favourite, and one which we have all been told from the age we could walk and talk, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Despite this, it amazes me how sorely lacking in genuine kindness our society is. Many truly unkind people are quick to tear others down and engage in virtue signalling, claiming they are the epitome of kindness and respect. Their socials scream out to the world "Be kind", "Kindness is catching," an overcompensation for their actual duplicity. Ponder on this... does a truly kind person feel the need to tell others they are kind? Whatever happened to simply treating others with respect and kindness, and holding ones tongue when kindness isn't an option? Where is the line? When do we start practicing what we preach? Where do we, as a society, stop and actually decide that the best way to ensure long-lasting peace and to mitigate conflicts is through the simple act of caring and employing empathy and compassion for others. A truly kind person just is, they don't announce to the world that they are. But this is the issue.

Kindness is 'trendy' amongst those who care little for morals and values. It is as rare as icicles in hell in this modern era. With the advancement of technology and the current generation having been drilled into them from day 'dot' that they are special, that they are entitled to a voice and whats more, that they are entitled to have an audience that equally cares for their thoughts and opinions, however misguided, we have entered into a narcissistic pandemic. We, as a society, have entered an era where courteous behaviour is no longer the norm, where self-absorption and entitlement reigns and where, ultimately, kindness is no longer valued. A quote that has always resonated with me is "Be the change you wish to see in the world," which I take to mean, when it comes to kind people, if you cant find one... be one.

November 13th is World Kindness Day. Having a day dedicated to kindness is exactly my point. Why does our society need to designate one day of the year towards being kind to others? Despite this, it is a day that I can absolutely stand behind, especially leading into Anti-Bullying Week. Ultimately, it is important to remind oneself of the true point of life - to leave the world a better place than when you came into it. The day itself is designed to highlight good deeds in the community focusing on the positive power and the common thread of kindness which binds us. The theme for this year is "Be kind whenever possible," with a focus on employing simple acts of kindness towards others, not just friends and family, but to complete strangers whenever the chance arises.

Kindness is pretty simple. It can involve checking in with a friend, complimenting a stranger, helping someone with a task, or simply being there for someone who needs it. For those lacking in inspiration, the above image contains some effective ways you can incorporate kindness into your daily routine. These seemingly small, but significant acts can truly do wonders, especially for someone sorely in need of understanding and compassion. So today, as with any day of the year, make it your mission to spread kindness around. And to those who need a little reminding about what it means to truly be kind and live a life of value and worth, re-read this article and remember that compassion and empathy for others is what it takes to "be a kind human."

'Make kindness the norm.' The world certainly needs more of it.

Meg xx

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