Because it’s Cool to be Kind

By Elise Hawthorne

Because it’s Cool to be Kind

A Google search defines kindness as, “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate,” which sounds easy enough in theory and Michael Lloyd-White, Chairman, Founding Director, World Kindness Australia, and General Secretary, The World Kindness Movement, is not alone in believing that being kind is also easy in practise.

In 2010, a chance encounter at his daughter’s school led Michael to initiate a World Kindness Week event at the school, which soon saw 400 other schools following suit within 12 months and to his introduction to the World Kindness Movement at that time based in Singapore.

Michael and others then went on to host the World Kindness Movement’s General Assembly in Sydney, where he met like-minded people from around the world which inspired him to get involved with the global campaign.

Michael set up World Kindness Australia with the belief that Australians could contribute to the happiness agenda and in 2012 Michael attended the General Assembly in London, which saw Australia elected as the Global Secretariat for the World Kindness Movement.

Michael’s vision for the World Kindness Movement and World Kindness Australia is short and sweet, “Our success will be measured by the difference a campaign makes to the spirit of a community, a family and of course a child. We are in the business of having a conversation, the very first step of engagement and if we do this well and consistently we will influence the influential and the people in the street.”

“Our ambition is to take a World Kindness Movement international youth delegation to the United Nations and secure a declaration of support from all its members. The goal is to get kindness on the agenda in all sectors of the community. Schools, business, NGOs, government all need to be involved, we cannot just be preaching to the converted otherwise we just become an ineffective feel good mutual admiration society.”

The World Kindness Movement hopes to see a cultural change through connecting with the common thread of kindness, bridging the divides and embracing the commonalities humans all share.

Michael’s involvement with this movement has found him rediscovering a greater care factor in his own life. The ongoing positive reception to his cause from all sectors of the community emboldens him to continue.

Michael firmly believes that, “changing the world sounds a little daunting on your own so focus on changing the world one city at a time. Securing partnerships with local government and making them aware that local government can influence global change through their Sister City Program strikes a chord.”

Individuals can easily become World Kindness members; they can adopt a Kindness Policy, hold an event during World Kindness Week, appoint a Goodwill Ambassador in the workplace and or donate to this inspiring movement. My particular favourite is the Kindness Card, which collects a journal of kindness stories which are tracked on Google Maps as the card is passed on from one person to another recognising the acts of kindness shown along the way.

Michael’s personal philosophy on the need to promote kindness in order to create a more compassionate and equitable world is easy, “simply choose to do something rather than nothing. Do not feel powerless. My recent Call to Action refers to the actions of simple ordinary everyday people who changed their nation for the better. These people were called Nelson, Martin, Gandhi, Theresa and they were not daunted by the adversity they faced they were inspired and in so doing inspired others.”

Join Michael and hundreds of thousands of likeminded kind people, it’s only a click away….


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