Wednesday 19 August 2020

Kindness matters

We have moved into the second half of the year and here in the UK almost half of the year has been taken up with the management of the Covid crisis. Management that has been focused on restriction.
Restriction of movement is having an effect on everyone's life. Whether it is being unable to visit loved ones or being unable to escape from someone who is very far from loving. Our society's view of loving kindness is being shown up as flawed.

I recently watched a film entitled The Kindness of Strangers. I can thoroughly recommend it for many reasons. One reason is that it has the excellent Bill Nighy in the cast. Another is because it gives an insightful perspective in relation to our recent circumstances.

 Kindness matters. That statement is true. We all accept that, however what is also true is that cruelty and apathy are still in abundance.

This can be seen in some of our accepted beliefs/confused statements that still get bandied about ...
    "You've got to be cruel to be kind" 
    " It's a sign of the times" 
    "there's nothing anyone can do"
 and my least favourite  "They only hurt the one they love" 

I would argue that all of the above statements are untrue.

Taking them in order, "You've got to be cruel to be kind" in itself is a nonsense but it is also an excuse to be hurtful. In past times, as a physio, it was a phrase that people thought described my profession. I choose to believe, that being a physio is more about encouragement. Getting people to do what they don't want to do, is definitely a skill, as any parent will attest to ...

Then "the sign of the times" excuse is just that ... an excuse! What happens in life is a sign of people's attitude to others and that as we have seen recently can be changed. Because if ever there is a statement that has been shown to be false, it is "there is nothing anyone can do!"

Just watching how vocal, impassioned teenagers have recently altered government decisions, should show that people can alter what is an unacceptable action. And there is hope that change too will happen as we recognise the inherent racism in our societies and see the widespread damage that this inhumane thinking can do.

I thoroughly disagree with "they only hurt the one they love" . I would alter the statement to "they only hurt those they can" ...  and has nothing at all to do with love!

 Gandhi said "Be the change you want to see in the world" a perfect mantra for our times. Part of being that change is to acknowledge and act on the fact that "kindness matters". Start with being kind to yourself today and notice how it naturally wants to flow outwards ... it is a force to be reckoned with.