This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. The theme that has been chosen by the Mental Health Foundation is kindness. But why, kindness? This clip from The Mental Health Foundation explains exactly why being kind is not only good for others, but it is also good for ourselves too.
With the repercussions of the global crisis that Covid-19 has brought to our doorsteps, we have possibly witnessed more acts of kindness than are usually brought to our attention on the news, in our villages and by our neighbours. And we have learnt just how important it really is.
We usually lead such busy lives, that perhaps sometimes people get forgotten. Let’s hope that we can learn a lesson from our experiences of having to socially isolate, and realise that there are vulnerable and lonely people who could benefit from our kindness all the time, and not just when we are in lockdown. We know that the teams of volunteers who have come together to help others in our community during Covid-19, would love to continue after the lockdown has ceased when we all begin to get back to our normal lives.
At Our Special Friends, we witness the kindness given by our volunteers every day. People who are prepared to put themselves out for others. It is truly humbling to witness first-hand the efforts to which some of our volunteers are prepared to go. This kindness extends to their animals too, who often bring such comfort to those in need of a bit of humility. Animals extend their silent empathy in a way that makes us feel that they understand our troubles. They gently offer their friendship, not judgemental or conditional.
We teach our children to be kind from an early age. To learn that it is as gratifying to give as it is to receive. We have seen it in all our villages, with the lovely rainbows that have been posted in windows to cheer on our key workers, who are still working to ensure that we are kept well and safe. Let’s not forget. In one of my favourite films, Evan Almighty, there is a lovely quote from Morgan Freeman (who plays God) and when asked the question, ‘Where on earth do I begin?’ he replies ‘One act of random kindness at a time!’
Mental Health Awareness Week is a reminder for us all to think of those who are struggling to manage, whether through stress, anxiety, loneliness, bereavement or just sheer overwhelm. A small gesture of kindness can sometimes make all the difference.