Kindness - The New Colour of The Year

No offence to Pantone - but who really cares about the latest colour of the year - if it’s coral or pumpkin - baby blue and pink (I know, that’s not what they called it but it was right?) one can wonder how these colours really shape our lives.

I’m more thinking at this time of year - how about kindness- how’s that working for you? I have started observing as I age, that people who hold my gaze and heart are people where kindness is their centre space.

Kindness is manifest in many ways - it’s a result of empathy- I’ve felt that and I’ve been there and I so feel your pain, I see you, let me help. Do we learn kindness and empathy or do we choose it? Is it modelled to us by our mother and father - there’s research to suggest that if we don’t see it as a child, it’s very difficult to manifest as an adult.

 

Images by Orange Sunshine Photography.

 

I decided pretty early on I was a big creature fan, animals great and small had my heart. As soon as I could, I stopped eating them (or the ones deemed as food). As soon as I got the information that there was an alternative to meat and it was called vegetarianism and that there were entire countries and cultures who lived just fine - I was in. Philosophically it just seemed right, economically and ecologically for the planet it definitely is - and that one is backed by science.

You can tell a lot about people on how they protect the challenged in society be animals, children, races, creeds, gay, straight or alien (that will happen). I watch with a melted heart as my partner Andrew (now officially in the grumpy man’s club) cares for our creatures, he’s soft and beautiful with them as he is with children with disabilities.

 

Images by Orange Sunshine Photography.

 

A girlfriend reminded me that you can gauge the potential of a partner on how kind and thoughtful he is to his mother. Girls will run a mile if a son is cold and hard on his mum - an indication of things to come.

All motivation aside ‘random acts of kindness have become the new hashtag tag. #dosomethingfornothing is a revolutionary movement of young barbers cutting the hair of the homeless, giving a new and spruced up version of themselves to lift their spirits. There are community fridges to share your evening meal or excess groceries with people who need it. Wonderful groups of people filling handbags with female care products for women fleeing domestic violence- something just for them. 

 

Images by Orange Sunshine Photography.

 

These things aren’t hard to be a part of and can certainly be achieved by us all. I for many years was part of a free vegetarian food movement. My son was raised from a very young age serving the homeless and in need, in parks an public spaces. It was an honour to do and I had the great fortune of meeting some incredible souls whose time on the planet had given them a rough ride. That time enriched me and I really miss it.

I watch a Facebook show by a guy called Mike Rowe called ‘Returning the favour’ and it’s about doing something nice for nice people. ‘Bloody do-gooders he calls them - and he’s right - all these people have in common is they are really a happy, jolly lot with a great sense of humour . They generally say is ‘I wouldn’t be doing anything else’.

The memorable people in our lives are the ones who have been kind to us. They say a child never really remembers the details but will always remember how a person made them feel. A great thing about kindness is it has a ripple down effect and impacts on itself. When you see kindness being done it engages you to do the same - it releases endorphins and serotonin into the body and we get a natural high. Warning, that can become addictive...

So sorry to be unkind to Pantone - this living coral - haven’t we seen this one before - circa 1990 something? Remind me...

By Tai Schaffler - founder of Bandhini

 

December 28, 2018 — Tai Schaffler

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