‘Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.’ Dalai Lama
With fear and loss and huge uncertainty all around us, it’s difficult to think that anything particularly positive has come out of the pandemic. Yet what has struck me over the past few months is the way we’ve been interacting with one another.
It feels like a seismic shift, a cosmic explosion has happened, because whilst the virus was spreading, something else was taking place and lurking amongst us because simultaneously, kindness was also spreading, sweeping throughout the nation, creeping into our homes and infecting us all.
Feel good stories, neighbourly undertakings, selfless random acts of kindness were on the fronts of the papers making headline news. Kindness was flying the flag, championing the way and helping us emotionally navigate through unprecedented times.
But whilst I delighted in this behemothic change, it did feel like it shone a light on the absence of kindness in our pre-covid society.
Most people who know me, will know that I have often preferred the company of my animals to humans, mainly because I frequently despaired at how unkind the world around seemed. I only had to dip into social media to realize how some people found it almost a sport to be harsh, to criticize, to be cruel to others for no apparent reason apart from the fact that they could, or even the lack of tolerance of other people’s differences caused kindness to take a back seat.
Yet, we are all born with an instinctive capacity for empathy and altruism, though so often it feels like kindness is something human beings struggle with, even though kindness is one of the greatest gifts we have to empower ourselves and those around us.
Kindness is one of our simplest but greatest powers. It truly is herculean. The smallest act of kindness can have an enormous impact on someone, it can hit their very soul and in doing so, it enriches our own lives. A smile to someone, a thank you, a text message asking how a person is, connecting or even reconnecting with family and friends; the simplest undertaking of kindness can be so powerful that it heals, nurtures and can leave lasting impressions. And the wonderful thing about kindness, is that we can carry it and share it anywhere.
So whilst I long for the Coronavirus to die out, I hope that the nation’s unified kindness for one another doesn’t die out along with it. I hope that thrives and flourishes, and becomes an incurable contagion that can never be eradicated.