Keeping Kindness in your peripheral vision …
Times are tough, life is hard and challenging, no time should be wasted and no opportunity missed, work hard, focus on your goals and ambitions and go hell for leather … this is what we are told to condition ourselves to be successful! I did exactly that and yes, I do consider myself to be successful in both business and my personal life, but is this enough?
Growing up in a Christian family and later marrying a committed Christian man, acts of kindness and compassion were not out of view. My children attending a Christian school and being exposed to their charity drives, kept the concept of kindness to others close. Being an event manager and dealing with corporate CSR projects allowed me to facilitate acts of kindness. So basically for all my life so far, kindness and giving were all in my peripheral vision so to say. Sad to admit that the fast paced world we live in and with work and family commitments left very little time for an opportunity to be “hands on” when it came to acts of kindness. Sure I supported, donated and facilitated but missed one vital element, the experience.
So things have slowed down, my children are adults, I have a little room to breathe. Now in semi-retirement what was in my peripheral vision has now become one of my ambitions. I have taken the step to commit time and effort to making a difference and bring aid and relief to those who need it most. Sounds rather scripted but it really is genuine and from the heart.
First lesson learnt; it takes boldness and courage to intercede for others, be it money, time or care that is needed. Money is actually the easiest one but to persuade someone to give of themselves and dedicate time and sustainable effort to a community, well that’s the really tough one!
Kindness is a choice, yes it’s a beatitude according to the bible where it is stated as a fruit of the spirit, but what makes it come alive is the “doing”. The more I researched the move overwhelmed I became at the roads some people have to journey through poverty, neglect and marginalisation. I almost gave up as the need is so great and what I have to offer is so small … Yes, I read all the encouraging words on various websites, the blessings attached to giving were clear to me but wow, where do I start?
It dawned on me that a journey shared is a far better idea than going it alone. So I thought about it carefully and undertook to find likeminded people to share the journey with me. That’s how the Kindness Corporation was established: (as it states in our Profile) When gratitude and empathy makes your heart too big for your chest, what do you do? Find avenues to express kindness.
What happens when you find likeminded people whose hearts pop out of their chests as well? You make them Board members and take them along with you on a journey to establishing an NPO with the aim of bringing aid and relief to those who need it most! Result?
An NPO called Kindness Corporation!
I am very proud to say that we will be officially two years old on 1st September 2016.
It has been amazing journey so far and the people I have met have proved to me that what was in my peripheral vision was really important and in the right time and in the right space, it has become one of my goals. So my advice to you is check what is in your peripheral vision, take cognisance of it. If you do not have time right now to make it your goal, consider it when you do. I can almost say it becomes a re-purposed purpose in your life. Those who deal with vintage or second hand clothing and furniture will understand the term re-purposed well. So if it’s cool to repurpose stuff then to repurpose a goal is awesome!
I am thankful to have been repurposed… it is a journey that I am comfortable undertaking and surrounded with the committed board members of the Kindness Corporation and our generous donors and friends, I am convinced that what we do will be blest by God. Nothing done in kindness can be malicious.
Being the people we are, we have made sure that we comply with all the legal requirements for the Kindness Corporation, we are registered with the Department of Social Development, have an NPO registration number, recently received our 18A Certification from SARS and we submit our financials religiously. Knowing that we have complied with what is legally required from us in this space allows us the freedom to move with credibility and recognition into the various communities we serve.
I would like to quote Nelson Mandela here if you don’t mind? “A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.” ― Nelson Mandela.
If this from the heart article has inspired you to live a life with Kindness in your peripheral vision, made you think of ways to create avenues and opportunities to be kind, moved you in any way to do random acts of kindness, then my literate pen along with my good head and heart as mentioned above has proven to be a formidable combination. I invite you to come and share the journey with us in whichever way shape or form you choose. We really are a bunch of kind people.
Founder and Project Leader of Kindness Corporation