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Make 2017 Kinder than 2016

Aesop Kindness Quote

Hate crime surged in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in the wake of the EU referendum vote – and still remains at significantly higher levels than it was a year ago. The figures released by the National Police Chiefs’ Council on 31st August show a 49% rise in reported incidents when compared with the previous year.

The surprise of the result, and the way it led to a less tolerant proportion of society seeing it as a green light to demonstrate that intolerance in the seeming belief that it would be with impunity, led many of us to feel shocked and disconnected from our country, and our fellow Britons.

Families have fractured, friendships have broken down, colleagues have fallen out, because no matter where you go there is someone ‘on the other side’ from you, whichever side you happen to be on. Now, more than ever before, we need to remember that we’re all human beings and show kindness to each other, rather than intolerance and hate.

What can you do? Stay Positive

Don’t get into a cycle of negativity. If someone is negative towards you, giving a negative response in return just continues the cycle and we want kindness to prevail. Don’t go over to the dark side!

Stay true to yourself, you may feel good for a moment when you hit back with a negative or barbed response but you’re likely to feel bad in the long run. When you stay true to yourself and use kindness you are likely to remain composed in even the most difficult situations.

Acting in a negative, or even rude, way is often the easiest response, especially when you’re dealing with an opinion or point of view which seems totally alien to you. Again, that may make you feel good in the short term but will you ultimately feel happy with your response? Show your resilience and strength by taking the high ground and responding with kindness.

How to respond with kindness

It’s important to remember that being kind doesn’t mean you’re a pushover or punch bag, assert your position with strength and tact.

Take a moment to breathe and think about who you’re talking to. Do you really want this to escalate and potentially spoil the relationship you have with them? You could take the view that you’re dealing with a poor deluded soul and take pity on them rather than get angry with them – but it’s best to just take a moment to realise that kindness and compassion are far more important.

It’s all too easy to dismiss those who disagree with us as being totally wrong but they have their own hopes and fears for their families and the future, most of which are likely to be the same as yours, so showing kindness is a great example for us, as a nation, to take as we move forward into an uncertain future.

3 Things to Get You Started

With this in mind, here are some practical simple daily kindness ideas you can try to get you started:

1. When you grab your morning coffee on the way into work, make sure you smile and give eye contact to the person serving you.

2. Write some compliments or positive quotes on Post-it notes and stick them on your colleagues desks, or around your home for your family to find.

3. Take some goodies into the office for your colleagues. Cakes, biscuits, fruit, smoothies.

It doesn't have to cost you anything to do something nice that will brighten the day of someone else. Making people feel noticed and appreciated is a great start to a kinder year. Happy New Year!

Building resilience


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