But kindness is also scary. There’s the risk we might look foolish or be taken advantage of. That’s why we so often retreat from it in practice. We usually associate kindness with trust in others, we expect kindness to reward us ‘in kind’, at least with gratitude, and even kindness in return. Sometimes if our kindness is taken for granted, or even abused, we can lose confidence and seek to defend ourselves.
So being kind takes courage, and we need to support each other to spread small acts of kindness and celebrate the giving and sharing that helps to build mentally healthy communities. This coronavirus pandemic gives us pause to think about what’s most important in our lives and in our communities – let’s not squander this opportunity in the haste to return to ‘normal’.