November 13th marks World Kindness Day. When I first realised there was a day set aside to celebrate, contemplate and initiate acts of kindness my immediate reaction was: “Just one day? Is that all?”
Of course, I believe in kindness and connection for the other 364 days of the year; however, I recognise the kindness movement needs to find its space and hold it, gently encouraging others. To bully its way into the rest of our crazy, chaotic calendars would be, in fact, most unkind.
My world has been full of chaos in recent months. Our home was badly damaged in Hobart’s recent storms. We’ve travelled to China to welcome our second grandie, Acacia, to play with our first, Sage, and to laugh and deliberate with not only our oldest son his wife, but also whilst in China, with our younger son and his wife too. I’ve had the absolute pleasure of becoming the Code REaD Dyslexia Network’s newest Ambassador. I’ve held another successful Perfect Pitch. And facilitated a leadership retreat at beautiful Bay of Fires Lodge. I’ve also spoken at numerous events, launches and forums. All within the last couple of months. It makes me happy to offer my time because this work with connection, kindness, courage and growth is what is important to me. Much of the chaos has been self-inflicted.
I realised recently though, that being busy ‘doing’ – talking, travelling, leading, launching – has not left a great deal of room for reflecting.
Which brings me to Dumbo’s feather. In the 1941 movie, a little elephant with big ears could fly. He believed it was only possible when he held a magic feather in his trunk. The feather was his source of confidence and security. Things were possible when he held it. Spoiler alert: the feather wasn’t magic and Dumbo learnt he could fly without it when it slipped from his trunk mid-air. Inspiration can be as intrinsic as extrinsic if you let it; if you believe it.
The beautifully named quarterly magazine Dumbo Feather provides a platform for people to tell their stories. The subjects are not all famous, and are inspiring change-makers who according to Dumbo Feather “make the world a better place and, by telling their story, they are motivating others to do the same”.
I’ve just had the honour of being interviewed by Dumbo Feather in the lead up to World Kindness Day. And on November 13th Dumbo Feather is hosting two events providing opportunity to share thoughts and insights about kindness. The first is a conversation at a Nurturing Literacy morning tea (register here) at Dumbo Feather’s beautiful St Kilda rooms. We’ll explore the role of kindness in literacy development and what playfulness brings to human interaction. The second is part of the launch of Dumbo’s 57th issue, a conversation with Nathan Scolaro, Dumbo Feather’s editor, at Melbourne’s Gathering of Kindness.
In these conversations and interviews I’ve been afforded time to reflect on my work, not just do it. And I’m very grateful for that. It is a kindness I shall relish.