KINDNESS AS SEEN THROUGH DIFFERENT LENSES
There has never been a truer quote as the one above and kindness is a case of “actions speak louder than words”. A smile, a hug, an understanding look or just giving a reassuring touch to someone can mean the world to them. You can never under estimate the power of kindness as it relates to our own mental health and doesn’t it feel good when you do something for someone else? During Covid 19 there have been many acts of kindness with people shopping for their neighbours, ringing friends and communicating with those who are in need of our help.
There are numerous aspects to kindness and they can be in the form of a letter, a listening ear or an empathetic approach and all that is required is just a bit of time to think of others. The positive effect on other people can sometimes be immeasurable as you create a sense of understanding and belonging. It can boost self-esteem, confidence and optimism. Kindness is needed more than ever now as people have felt the full impact of being in lockdown.
Carers can sometimes find “caring for themselves” very difficult and I have heard people say: “I should be looking after my loved one” to “I am not worth it.” I have also talked to people who felt that they did not know how to respond to kindness and wished that it was not bestowed on them. It evoked feelings of not being able to give back adequately or will they take advantage of me?
There are other acts of kindness concerning both the animal world and nature. The connection between man and the rest of the planet cannot be underestimated. I was lucky enough to be able to ride when I grew up and my horse and I developed a wonderful relationship out of kindness and consideration for each other and again was built on actions not words as it so often is.
The relationship between horses and humans is of course well known and equine assisted psychotherapy is proving to be effective.
Then there was “The Elephant Whisperer” where a man called Lawrence Anthony looked after a herd of elephants in South Africa who were destined to be killed. He took them in and then battled to create a bond with the elephants and save them from execution. He came to realise that they had a lot to teach him about love, loyalty and freedom. After a while he released them back into the wild. When Lawrence died the elephants walked for 12 hours to his home and for two days held a vigil and mourned the loss of their friend and then left – what a wonderful testimony to love and connection.
For those who know me you will know that I am passionate about gardening and being with nature. I have seen the enormous benefits it can have on one’s mental health and the inner peace that it can bring. I am lucky enough to have a garden and this year the flowers have done really well. I have fed and watered them, treated them with respect and in turn they have given me an outstanding display of what they can do!
When scientists tell us that the “new normal” will also depend on our recognition and respectful relationship with animals and plant life, I feel passionately that it is not too soon to start addressing kindness to the others we share the planet with!
“KINDNESS” comes in many forms and I have tried to show in this piece that everyone, whether it be humans, animals or plant life we can all benefit from kindness. It is about what we often discuss in our meetings – “Communication” and the “Collaborative Approach”. This often brings the best results and acts as a gateway to our own healing. However please remember as well:
TO BE KIND TO YOURSELF!