I’m catching up with what has been a very busy autumn- this blog is mainly about World Kindness Day which takes place on November 13th each year, but it seems timely to write about what happened this year now we’re approaching Christmas as it is the time of year people think about kindness a lot. Here’s what we did :
Kindness Messages from Deptford, UK to Jinja, Uganda
November 13th is World Kindness Day -all over the world people celebrate kindness and take part in promoting and committing to acts of kindness themselves.
Every year since 2011 I have celebrated it, and this year a few things came together to make it really special
A sign of kindness
This time last year I was gifted this beautiful neon sign from People United, and lots of people have told me they have been encouraged, inspired and cheered up by it. I live on a very busy main road, which is on the route to two local primary schools. It has lots of traffic, cyclists and pedestrians travelling on it every day, so it's perfectly placed as a reminder to us all (me included) to be kind.
This year I really wanted to mark the year and do something special.
Kindness on twitter
I have made some incredible and inspiring friends on twitter (proving once again how amazingly positive social media has the potential to be, forging friendships across the world and allowing like minded organisations and individuals to find each other)
My new friends Schools Tree project do amazing work by empowering school children to become stewards in climate change mitigation- encouraging children to counter the effects of climate change by planting trees. Earlier this year I posted them my children’s books "Do Nice Be Kind Spread Happy" and "Be The Change Make It Happen”.
They began their own Kindness Clubs and keep me updated with all of the lovely things the children are doing- for example helping elders in their community, looking after animals, and thinking about kindness. They have done and continue to do such amazing work, it is humbling to see how hard they work at making the world a better place
This November I ran some free workshops in Deptford Park School and with Woodcraft Folk in Brockley, doing kindness activities with the kids and collecting messages from them to send to the Kindness Clubs in Jinja, Uganda. I also ran a kindness workshops on World Kindness Day itself and we shared stories of kindness, made wishes and wrote and recorded messages for our friends in Uganda.
Message from Woodcraft folk
Later that night I visited our fabulous local volunteer run Pepys Community Library and we recorded this message for our friends
After all the workshops and gathering the materials together, tomorrow I am posting the pictures to Uganda hopefully in time for Christmas!
Here’s one example of the beautiful messages that the children ( and grown ups) made to send to Jinja.
There are lots more examples below....
Despite what we are often told about each other, the world is full of people willing and happy to help each other out and offer the hand of friendship.
If you’re in Deptford, SE London I urge you to go along and visit Pepys Community Library and see Luciana, Joyce and the rest of the team and see the amazing work they are doing in the community. You can follow them on twitter here @EcoPepysLibrary
Also follow the work of School Trees project in Jinja Uganda here @SchoolsTrees1
Kindness extends in all directions, inwards to ourselves, and outwards to our fellow humans, all living creatures, and the earth itself. I applaud the civil disobedience and peaceful protests of organisations like Extinction Rebellion, and also the positive action of planting trees and teaching others to plant trees, of School Trees Project in Uganda, Trees for Cities here in the UK, and our own Deptford Folk in SE8, amongst many others. I love the work of People United who continue to promote kindness in the arts. Join in if you would like and are able to: there are ways for everyone to contribute in which ever way appeals to and suits them, and doing so is empowering and energising
So let’s not be disheartened and think that our actions can't change anything- accumulatively small actions have the power to change our world for the better- let’s do it!