Today is World Kindness Day. I have to admit that, sadly, it’s not a day that I have paid much attention to previously, but given the political events of the past week, and the past year, it has suddenly felt so needed and so welcome.
Whatever reasons voters gave for choosing Trump, he has won the Presidential election in spite of, if not because of, his overt sexism, racism and intolerance. It’s a heartbreaking state of affairs and for many it’s outright scary. Kindness feels just the antidote, and the thing we should be celebrating and reinforcing right now.
I am grateful that my daughters are too young at the moment to understand the significance of the US electoral vote, I am grateful that they are still dreaming of their future without fear, without doubt, without borders, trusting that they can be whatever they chose whether that be a ballerina, doctor, bus driver or bunny rabbit in the case of Little Roo.
But, as a parent, more than ever, I feel the responsibility of teaching my children the importance of kindness in all of its forms: love, empathy, compassion, inclusion…. To teach my daughters about equality and instil in them a fight to ensure that they are treated as nothing less than equal merely because of their gender – to show them that the only thing that can truly limit how much they achieve is their own imagination and their own determination – and to ensure, in turn, that they treat no one as less than equal, regardless of ethnicity, religion, race, sexuality, or any other factor. We are all human. Differences should not be tolerated, they should be celebrated.
The messages of hope that I have seen post election have given me hope – hope that this election result pushes us to do more, to think more, to be better. If we live with kindness at the forefront of our consciousness we can do better than we are now – our children can do better, our children can be better.