Saturday, 1 August 2009

The things that bother me in my search for examples of kindness

Now that I have been looking for examples of kindness for a couple of months, I sit back and take stock of what I have achieved, what I have learned and what I want to do next.

My main offensive weapon in gathering examples of kindness was Twitter. I posted at least 50 tweets asking for examples of kindness and achieved a few postings. I was however, very surprised that a fashion forum I belong to called Style Zeitgeist was actually a lot richer in coming up with examples. In fact from a single thread I achieved half a dozen examples of which two of them rank as the most thought provoking. The lesson here I guess is that examples of kindness and the sharing of them can happen in any surroundings.

I did have my eyes opened, however, to the number of groups there are out there promoting the doing of kind acts. I became aware of many new phrases and movement such as Random Acts of Kindness, Pay it Forward, Pass it Forward and so on. Whilst I think all genuine acts of kindness are to be applauded, I struggle largely to understand Kindness Organisations. There are exceptions such as Diego Villaveces Pass it Forward group in Australia who I respect greatly, but I think they are the exception not the rule. I was approached by a Kindness Organisation via a comment on one of the posts on this blog and to be fair it read like a political manifesto. I have struggled internally whether to publish it or not. In fact I still haven't decided. On the other hand, I see other groups that I can harshly categorise as Tree Huggers. In neither case do I see a mass change in kindness because I do not see the mass attraction for groups like these.

It is so easy to jump on a kindness bandwagon but it is not my intention to do so. In fact I don't want to change the world by making people act kindly. I just want to show the effects on kind acts from the receivers point of view. If that makes the reader act in a certain way, then fine. If not then that is also fine. I do not believe in a kindness business model nor do I believe that any organisation can make people kinder. I believe that acts of kindness are very personal and are examples of the generosity of the human spirit. They have the ability to make us feel better about the world we live in and the people we share it with. No more and no less.

1 comment:

  1. I met your wife when she was at the CheezeBurgHer party and she used the loo in my hotel room (next to the party). Will definitely be sending you a little kindness as soon as I am patient enough to sit and write you one :)