Monday, December 26, 2011

And what about kindness?

Kindness surrounds us;  it is everywhere and in everyone.  I guess the clue is in the word ‘humankind’.  But there is something about when you are in unfamiliar surrounds such as travelling to foreign shores, that it becomes even more apparent and profound.  Particularly when you are stuck, when the ‘chips are down’ and you are feeling incredibly vulnerable ...  a beacon of light will appear... in the form of an incredibly kind human being (with or without a bottle of wine!).    And then there are those special periods such as the festive season we are in now, where the world seems full of kind and generous souls.

Is there more kindness during these exceptional times?.  Or is it because in these situations our hearts are a little more open than usual and so we recognise it more clearly?

Kindness is traditionally not recognised as one of those key qualities of what makes a great leader, but its repercussions resonate profoundly. Here are 3 different yet interrelated perspectives on being kind:

  • With a big heart and much wit,  humorist Danny Wallace1 encourages us to undertake daily random acts of kindness in fun, creative and practical ways.

  • Entrepreneur and activist Anita Roddick2 challenges us to dig deeper and consider how kindness is not only something to be practiced randomly but is also a truly revolutionary idea that really can change the world.   This includes considering the big questions such as... what would it be like if people, society, the health system, business, media, politicians, the criminal justice system, the music industry and religion were required to be more kind?.

  • In honour of the interconnectedness of beings, the beautiful meditation practice of loving kindness3 invites us to cherish our own heart and bring kindness, acceptance and compassion to one’s self and extend it to others, close and far.

In whatever way you are your kind self, as Greek writer Aesop penned ...


  1. Wallace, D. (2004) Random Acts of Kindness: 365 ways to make the world a nicer place, Ebury Press, UK
  2. Roddick, A. (ed.) (2003) A Revolution in Kindness, Anita Roddick Publications, Ltd, UK
  3. Kabat-Zinn, J. (1994) Wherever you go there you are: Mindfulness meditation in everyday life, Hyperion, New York


  1. Thanks (again) for the inspiration bella. I've just dug out my 1994 edition of JKZ's MM4EL (which I don't remember ever getting around to working my way through) so that can now help me achieve my NY resolution of meditating, even if just for 5 minutes, every single day! And, having so often experienced the kindness of strangers, I too believe this is a wonderfully fundamental part of humankind which, if practised more widely & deliberately, could indeed start a revolution...

  2. your kindness act in inspiring me to start this blog and encouraging me to continue are for sure, appreciated!