Renate Engelbrecht
Content producer
3 minute read
6 May 2022
10:19 pm

Kindness is on the rise globally

Renate Engelbrecht

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, people seem to have been flexing their kindness muscles a lot more than they used to.

Kindness is on the rise. Image: iStock

The extreme circumstances of the past two years have undoubtedly made people more tolerant when it comes to a lot of things and as a result, people are also a lot more understanding these days. The pandemic might have had its challenges, but it also helped to kick-start kindness.

BBC and the University of Sussex conducted a study in 2021, surveying 60,000 people around the globe, with two thirds of those interviewed confirming that they believed the Covid-19 pandemic has made people kinder overall.

The UN’s figures indicate the same trend, with a global surge in the number of volunteers since the start of the pandemic. This influx of volunteers spans people from a wide range of different backgrounds, according to the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, with them offering their time to help the elderly, support frontline health workers, help the disabled and assist in educating children. There has also been a surge in digital volunteering, where people have helped from behind the scenes where they felt safer to do so during the pandemic.

By being kind and helping others, you don’t only help them, though, you also help yourself. Various studies have indicated over the years that volunteering can boost your mental health, increase your self-confidence and provide you with a stronger sense of purpose.

READ: KZN Sharks Board and Tourism KZN join hands to clean up and help flood victims

Family walking a shelter dog
A volunteering family walking a shelter dog. Image: iStock

How and where can you kick-start your kindness?

Start close to home

While volunteering doesn’t necessarily come naturally to everyone, it is a great way to get involved in your community. Start close to home by considering community organisations to contact about volunteering opportunities. Speak to friends who volunteer, contact your local town council or research your area’s volunteering options online.

Whether it’s an animal shelter that needs people to walk and feed the dogs or a home for the elderly that could do with an extra set of hands every now and then, you’re bound to find something that fits your purpose.

Make it a lifestyle

Kindness also doesn’t have to be a formal event. You can decide to incorporate more deeds of kindness into your daily life or take part in activities that you know will also benefit others. Bake a batch of cookies with your toddler as your right hand and drop them off at the local fire station for the fire fighters to enjoy. This won’t just make them happy, but you’ll also be creating an opportunity to instil kindness in your child. Or, knit jerseys and donate them to a homeless shelter.

Charity race
Charity race. Image: iStock

Get active

Another way of getting involved in activities that mean something to others, is by taking part in events for a cause like the Fedhealth Magalies Monster, which takes place in Buffelspoort on 4 and 5 June. The event will have both mountain biking and trail running races to take part in and donations received will go toward The Kindness Collaboration – a joint initiative between Fedhealth and Operation Healing Hands (OHH).

Like Aesop said: “No act of kindness, however small, is wasted,” so whether you donate ten minutes of your time or R1 per kilometre in a race, every bit helps to make a difference. Even small gestures can help, as together they can make a huge difference.

Let’s be the change we’d like to see in the world. Let’s be kind. Let’s raise kind children.