One of the first people I met in the Books Go Social Facebook group was the lovely optimist Kathryn Hodgson, author of No Damage and a daring shark conservationist. During her travels, she has definitely seen kindness in action quite a few times. Here is what she says about it. Read more about Kathryn below her guest post.
Is Kindness Overrated?
by Kathryn Hodgson
Kindness (noun) ~ the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate
Synonyms: kindliness, kind-heartedness, warm-heartedness, tender-heartedness, goodwill, affectionateness, affection, warmth, gentleness, tenderness, concern, care, consideration, considerateness, helpfulness, thoughtfulness, unselfishness, selflessness, altruism, compassion, sympathy, understanding
I read the definition of kindness and it doesn’t elicit much of an emotional response within me yet I can’t help but read those synonyms and feel wonderful on deep level. Try it for just a moment; let each of those positive words and the behaviours they indicate soak into you and see how it makes you feel. Do you notice the difference? My heart rate dropped, a cheerful little smile played upon my cheeks and I felt good about today in spite of the fact it hasn’t been my easiest of days. Just the idea of warm-heartedness, affectionateness (who knew that was even a word), concern, care and understanding leave me with a feeling of belonging and a sense of peace. And guess what? They are all forms of kindness.
Kindness is the glue that holds each of us together during difficult days and helps us grow as individuals, families and societies. Come rain or shine it is always possible to be kind to someone you love, a random stranger and the people that need warm-heartedness the most…the seemingly unkind, angry souls that need to experience a better way of living from the heart. It costs nothing to be kind, the smallest gestures mean the world to those in need of a little love, it is endless in its abundance and it is oh-so-easy to give and receive this goodwill. Now that is my kind of product; free, simple, effective at all times and available worldwide without restriction.
Where would we be without kindness? I would be utterly lost without it. The acts of kindness I have received and given to others have each taught me the meaning of unconditional love, compassion, joy, forgiveness and the shared humanity of each of us. We are all essentially the same, we need one another, and a thoughtful gesture goes a long way to reinforcing that.
I am incredibly thankful for the random and not-so-random acts of kindness that I have received and without them I would not be the person I am today. I would not have discovered who I am; my passions in life and laughter all come from the kindness of others who supported me throughout life. I certainly wouldn’t be writing this from within New Zealand whilst travelling the world in aid of shark conservation . Without the kindness of others I wouldn’t be able to raise money for charity during this world tour and I would have ended up hungry and cold at times without a bed to sleep in. Kindness has quite literally kept me clothed, housed and safe throughout my life and travels. It is definitely not overrated.
How can it be possible to overrate something that breaks down barriers, teaches us the valuable lessons of life, brings us all together when we need it most and never, ever, runs out?
Kindness. It is what makes everything possible.
Author’s bio (provided by herself):
Kathryn Hodgson (1979) was born in England and spent her childhood exploring the rugged beauty of Cornwall. Kathryn pursued her love of nature as an adult and created a successful career within environmental enforcement in England and then as a scuba diving instructor in Egypt and Great White Shark wildlife guide in South Africa. She is co-founder of the marine conservation cause Friends for Sharks, inspirational indie writer & blogger, author of No Damage (December 2014) and lover of life, laughter and adventures.
No Damage is an inspiring and uplifting look at one woman’s journey to survive two runaway grooms whilst coping with cancer, the loss of her career and more.
Kathryn’s optimistic tale of hope, adventure travel and an unexpected stint in a South African prison explores how, as a single 30-something woman with just one suitcase and a head full of emotional baggage, she conquered her fears to pursue her passions.
This memoir is both a hilarious true story of the power of positive thinking and a self help guide to overcoming loss, following you heart and creating the life you want.