mission: Kindness

by Jan Watson, Outreach Team, January 2018

Swindon Libraries would like to encourage more kindness in Swindon. Like you, we find it easy, within this digital environment to lose a sense of community.

So we would like to introduce our new mission: KINDNESS

Let us all come together and get back our community spirit by developing our culture of kindness, encourage meeting people, sharing stories and work together to spread kindness.

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What do we mean by kindness? The Google dictionary defines kindness as:

kindness
noun
the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.
a kind act.
plural noun: kindnesses

The Beginning

This book. We love this book! It is called ‘The Story of the Kindness Elves’ by Anna Ranson & Benjamin Byrne…
thekindnesselves

Picture shows the cover of ‘The Story of the Kindness Elves’ book by Anna Ranson & Benjamin Byrne

“The Kindness Elves are magical friends who love nothing more than to sprinkle kindness and joy wherever they go!
They love to visit your home and spread this happiness with children, encouraging them to do small acts of kindness in their daily lives. This simple, yet powerful, idea of spreading kindness amongst kids has become incredibly popular with parents and teachers alike.”
Quoted from the Kindness Elves website.
The steps:
  1. The Elves leave an act of kindness suggestion (mission).
  2. The suggestion is found.
  3. The suggestion is carried out.
  4. The wonderful positive effect of the kindness is seen, written down and posted to the Elves.
  5. The Elves leave a postcard congratulating the kindness ‘doer(s)’.
  6. The postcard is pasted into the Little Book of Big Kindnesses.

What do you think Swindon? Are you with us?

In Swindon Central Library, there will be a postbox. Above this the Kindness Elves will be waiting to hand out the weekly mission, and receive your kindness notifications! The Elves will then write a postcard congratulating the act of kindness and one of the lovely librarians will glue it into the book for everyone to see! It will also be shared on social media for everyone to enjoy.

The book is aimed at children, yet, it is so good for us all to embed kindness into our daily lives.

There is a body of evidence that shows kindness:

  • is good for our stress levels
  • is good for our blood pressure
  • makes us happier – good for our mental health
  • keeps us living longer
  • improves relationships
  • keeps things in perspective

These points are taken from the Mental Health Foundation‘s page ‘Doing good does you good’ and Dr David Hamilton’s post  ‘The 5 Side Effects of Kindness’ .

The Middle

Over to you! If you would like to take part, but find it difficult to get to Central Library, send us your kindness acts by email, tweet, comment, snail mail…

The End

There is no end to the kindness that we can do. Kindness is contagious! So let us spread an epidemic!

 

I look forward to posting your stories of kindnesses ❤

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