The Power of Kindness
Throughout this lockdown situation we have been bombarded by bad news stories from the Press, so much so that I’ve deleted all my news apps and now go to reliable sources for the information that I want rather than it just being pushed out to me.
The combination of bad news, national rather than local stories and conflicting versions of the same story can leave the reader feeling confused and anxious and does nothing for our mental health at a time when we all need clarity and good news stories.
However I did come across a great Twitter account called “Goodable.”
This is a site which albeit American has story after story of heart-warming kindness at a time which is challenging all of us in what we consider to be normal.
They’ve even teamed up with a chocolate company to give out free chocolate to those showing the most kindness.
These stories include people like Ramia who four years ago fled Syria, they’ve now settled and opened a restaurant and are feeding frontline workers in hospitals.
In Spain there was a taxi driver who has been taking patients to hospital for free. He arrived at hospital having dropped his patients off and was greeted by doctors and nurses who had an envelope with money and a guard of honour clapping him into the hospital.
Then there was Norfarrah who was born without hands but this didn’t stop her using her feet to sew PPE clothing for healthcare workers in Malaysia.
My favourite was the nurse who dropped her car off to be serviced. When she came to pick it up the garage had left a bill on her windscreen. In the space for total cost of the work done. the garage had written “Nurse.”
These examples show the true quality of human kindness and at times like this we need to spread this sort of kindness and we have seen tremendous examples of this level of service and kindness in the UK too.
Schools Advisory Service have decided to share their bank of resources and support with all the staff at client schools, which has been hugely appreciated. SAS have invested in free counselling, physio and nurse support as well as mental health based NHS apps for all staff at their client schools as a thank you to all those staff that are playing key roles during these challenging and unprecedented times.
Additionally, some of the partners we at SAS are working with, are showing the sort of kindness which is helping us all to respond to the challenges of Coronavirus in school.
Fitter Future, EGym and Andy Cope have all shared resources previously behind pay walls to help schools and their staff meet the challenge that they face in terms of home learning and staying healthy.
The great thing about kindness is the feelgood factor that it creates. That sense of somebody cares enough for me to want to do something for me simply because they know that I will appreciate it.
However one particular doctor believes that the most contagious thing is kindness itself and that if you’re kind to someone, it’s not just the recipient who benefits.
Dr David Hamilton believes that kindness makes you happier, it’s good for your heart, slows ageing, improves relationships AND helps to support your immune system. We know how good it feels to do a good deed for someone else and that feelgood factor has a positive impact on all these aspects of our wellbeing.
And it is contagious!!! – any small act of kindness you might perform is proven to have a ripple effect that reaches over 100 more people. So, like an initial kindness pebble dropped into the pond, we can make waves that will help to raise the profile of humanity and kindness.
Similarly, science is beginning to suggest that even through an upbeat phone call or online video chat you can improve the emotions of the recipient. With a phone call it’s the auditory component of the mirror neuron system (MNS) of the recipient’s brain that you are activating and with video it’s both the auditory and visual components of the MNS.
The way we are, often creates the same emotions in those who we interact with. The great news is that, according to Dr Hamilton, if you are kind to one person, this person then is kind on average to another 5 people and so on. Before we know it we could be creating a contagion of positivity and kindness across humanity.
At this time is there a better message to be putting out there?
National Wellbeing Director
Schools Advisory Service