A beautiful soul I know used kindness as a theme in a job interview recently. She wove the heart of kindness into the role, who it was for,and what she was about. She triumphed.
In the past few days, we’ve seen kindness at its best driven by tragedy and need. Even if you didn’t take part, you can glow in the light it shines. So here are 3 dimensions of kindness in recent days. You will need your sunglasses.
Typhoon Haiyan was 300 miles across when it struck the Philippines on the 8th of November and one of the most intense tropical storms to ever make landfall anywhere in the world. Millions of people have been affected, including hundreds of thousands who have been forced from their homes. There are countless dead. But in the aftermath we see the amazing flow of help blown in by kindness and compassion. I have always deeply admired aid workers. Remarkable people doing their very best. I’ve been lucky to know a few, especially at UNICEF. They are self-effacing, practical, sometimes private. But they are always kind. Spare a thought for them.
Every year Children in Need on the BBC mixes entertainment, fundraising and story telling to help really vulnerable children. It’s a perfect window into family, parents, children, and donors. We see the daily challenge of caring, the small projects run by giants in circumstances mortals would give up on, with resources a quarter of what’s really needed. The whole thing is a chain of kindness .
Often kindness is directed by the many to the one. A single cause, connected by media, twitter and TV focusing like a concentrated human laser to one single being. In the moment, it generates community, exchanges of compassion in a project that gives as much to those who give, as the projects cause itself. In San Francisco, 5 years old Miles Scott, who is in remission after a four-year battle with leukemia, told the Make-A-Wish Foundation that as a Batman fan he wanted to be Batkid. Make-a-Wish reached out through email and social networks, asking for help making Miles’s wish come true. The charity was inundated with offers to help. Volunteers formed the crowd or pretended to be villains. From one childs wish, an army and festival of kindness.
Kindness through great servants, givers and community. Chains, festivals, individuals.
So, here’s to the beautiful soul who had the courage to take a risk and champion kindness. It inspired me. We breed kindness by being kind – surprisingly simple really.