The word ‘kindness’ has been repeated many times by Jacinda Adern (PM of NZ) over the last few weeks. It’s something that sets her apart from many of her global counterparts and it seems to be the current main driver of our government. But where does it come into our daily lives right now?
I now go on walks each day. I was never a big fan of walks, particularly walks that lead to nowhere. But currently, my entire neighbourhood and I are walking to our local park, around a few times and back home. It’s still quite a peculiar feeling, leaving the safety of my home to brave the streets from a threat I can’t see. My neighbours come into my path, and we do a strange dance, with me usually walking onto the empty street to keep our distance.
The one thing I’ve started to do and have told my 12-year-old to implement is the ‘I’m-sorry-I-have-to-walk-over-here-smile’. Honestly, it makes a massive difference when the other person returns it with the same knowing smile. It makes me feel like we still care about each other in the way that only complete strangers with community ethics can.
Our smiles these days might be different, and for some of us with depression, they can be harder to muster-up. But they’re so much more important right now – they truly make a difference to someone’s day. You might be the only person they see today and that smile or “hello” might have a hugely positive effect on someone’s social isolation.
The last important smile needs to be reserved for yourself. It might sound crazy but before I take a shower in the morning, I look at myself and smile. I am taking each day as it comes, I’m doing my best and I’m trying to be kind to myself and others. Other than staying home and washing your hands, those are where we hold our power right now.
Our true power as a community is showing kindness to ourselves and others every day. We’re saving lives right now and that’s something to be incredibly proud of.