As Cinderella's wise mum once told her, these words will see you through almost any point in your life. And I'm sure many of your reading this will already know, I am a huge advocate for this.
Firstly let's start with Kindness...
Being kind is a such a small and easily done gesture that it's amazing how often it's taken for granted. Every day people are moved by acts of kindness, so why don't we all do it more often? In classes previously I have asked students, of all ages, if they can tell me something that happened that day where someone was kind to them. The answers spill out of them!
'I tripped over on the way to my bus and someone helped me up.'
'I was struggling with some work in class and someone helped me.'
'I didn't have anyone to play with at break-time and then someone asked me to join in with them.'
How lovely are these? And there were so many more - every single student found it easy to remember an act of kindness that day, it was lovely.
Then we flip the question around and ask what they have done to be kind to others. Suddenly the room goes quite. There are a few of them who can easily tell me something, usually relating to a younger sibling perhaps being upset and they managed to cheer them up. But a lot of them end up stumped. Why? I'm sat in a room with a delightful bunch of young people all of which I know to be lovely. So why can't they think of something lovely they've done? I started to ask other questions...
Did you hold the door open for anyone?
Did you smile at anyone today?
Did you say thank you to people?
Did you ask a friend if they were okay?
All their heads began to simultaneously nod. Well then you've been kind multiple times today! And every day! They all started to giggle and see my point.
The thing is, an act of kindness doesn't have to be a huge gesture, being kind is about being considerate and thoughtful of others around. It's about being caring and supportive. We should all see that in ourselves because I know it's there in all of you. If you can't see it in yourself perhaps you need to practise being a little kinder to yourself...
And now our friend Courage...
Courage is a funny thing, we don't talk about it very often. We talk about what we're frightened of, we talk about getting nervous, we talk about phobias. But we should be saying:
'I was really brave today.'
'I dealt with that very confidently.'
'I'm proud of myself for having the courage to do that.'
Again, I'm not talking about huge, gallant acts of saving your family from a burning building or facing up to a lion to protect your pack... I'm talking about the little every day victories that should be celebrated!
Whether you're an anxious person or not, your day will be littered with tiny things that make you uncomfortable or worried. We're humans, that's completely normal. Everyone has insecurities, even the most confident person you've ever met will have issues they may not share that give them daily concerned. That's life - not meaning to sound negative here but it is, and it's okay.
So firstly lets accept that we have these worries, these quirks, these niggles. They make us who we are and that's a beautiful thing. Now let's ask ourselves how regularly we go on with our day regardless of those worries, quirks and niggles in the back of our head? How often have you felt like you really didn't want to do something... but you went and did it anyway? THAT'S COURAGE!
You pushed through a fear or a concern and you faced it head on. You do that every day! It could be speaking to someone new, putting your hand up in class to answer a question, posting that picture online of something you created for everyone to see, learning a new skill, starting a new club... Whatever it is, it means you were brave today.
Now it's your turn...
So I would like to set you a challenge... Every night before you go to bed I would like you to write down:
5 Kind Things I Did 5 Times I Showed Courage
Try it for just a week... And then see how you feel. Be sure to drop me a comment below with your progress, I'd love to know how you get on with it! Or head over to Instragram and share it with me daily :)
Thank you for reading my first 4D blog post, you lovely, kind and brave person!
Big 4D love,