THE GLOBAL KINDNESS INITIATIVE
KINDNESS IS THE ANTIDOTE TO VIOLENCE!
Judith Trustone & Gale Campanella Muhammad, Sagewriters Associates
Box 215, Swarthmore, PA 19081 610-328-6101 firstname.lastname@example.org
The purpose of the Global Kindness Initiative hopes to tap into in the spirit of the movie “Pay It Forward” where each once receiving kindness from another must agree to “pass it on.” It is this impulse of kindness to strangers that we want to tap into and encourage, thus changing the mindset from cruelty to kindness. Judith Trustone tested using “Thank You” cards this last spring in the powerful “Re-Entry Healing Through Writing Circles” she led for men and women incarcerated at the Philadelphia Prison. The positive energies had a ripple effect, touching many. The success of this program planted the seeds for this Global Kindness Initiative.
One of the tools to be used by the Global Kindness Initiative is Kindness Kards ©2007, postcard-sized documents that contain a message which acknowledges and encourages kindness in others. Kindness Kards, which can be purchased in lots of 50, 100 or 1000 and more, are an attempt to distribute sprinklings of light in a world that seems to have forgotten kindness and civility. So much of our energies are anti-this and anti-that, defending against overwhelming despair and the violence which affects us all. Kindness Kards are a tool for anyone interested in supporting a kinder, less violent world regardless of where they reside. As of this date, supporters are identifying themselves in Jamaica and France, and in this country, we will involve many human rights organizations, churches, schools and community groups for support and sharing the Kindness Kards. Success will be measured by the number of Kindness Kards distributed, the response of the media, and the number of organizations involved. In the process, hopefully the people will be interested in PSI and who these prisoners are, thereby changing the faces of prisoners to the public and opening the door for discussion of prisoners and prison issues.
OTHER POSSIBLE LONG-TERM GOALS
- Weekly internet blogs
- A documentary about the Initiative
- National/International Kindness Month
- Expand radio show
- Kindness Clubs for elementary schools, high schools and colleges
- Kindness Contests (who receives the most Kards for the most kindness)
- The Kindness Workbook
- Establishing the Initiative in other, more progressive prisons
- Other possibilities we haven’t yet imagined…
KindMind Techniques: tools to train your mind to strive to be kind all the time
(New release coming soon!)
In the words of American journalist Dorothy Day: “The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us?” The veracity of her words speaks for itself. Would any of us deny that we’d like to live in a kinder world? That we hope future generations will experience a kinder place than the one we now know? How would that come to be? Considering Miss Day’s sentiment, it would start with each of us. Acts of kindness are inherent to personal intention. Hopefully we’ve all been on the giving end more or as much as we’ve been recipients.
Seven years ago the Global Kindness Revolution was born in the last place people would think of as kind: it took root within the confines of a Pennsylvania prison; an environment most would presume to be barren of any hope let alone kindness. I was heartened to find the opposite. I taught creative writing classes to prisoners not only to provide them an outlet but to recreate a sense of connection even in the most hardened of environments. These were men serving life sentences; several were facing death row.
The Global Kindness Revolution quickly spread to other states through the circulation of Kindness Cards that shares our message of healing. Community Kindness Circles, a GKR trademark, were also being created where people participate in an intimate setting to engage in and nurture kindness. GKR serves as an anecdote to violence, bullying and lack of civility through the worldwide distribution of our Kindness Cards and Community Kindness Circles, training DVDs and other social media outlets. As the program continues to expand, several goals are intended:
- To generate as many Kindness Circles globally and offset the damage of war and violence and whenever possible by having participants take part in simultaneous Kindness Circles to activate a vibrational/energetic pull away from the violence and toward kindness.
- Enhance “mindfulness” through exercises of awareness to discipline and overpower the Tribal Brain like we have to do when we diet, stop smoking cigarettes or commit to recovery from drug/alcohol addictions. Imagine if people had as much passion for Kindness as they do for football!
- Inspire people to commit to a Kindness Lifestyle which is great for our health. Every act of Kindness raises the “Happy Hormones” of Serotonin and Oxytocin in ourselves. Those who receive our Kindness, as well as those who observe it, read about it or only hear about it. Think about what happens in your body when you smile as compared to being in a state of anger.
Training your mind to be Kind is one of the hardest yet most beneficial things you’ll ever do, but it’s a lot more fun and easier than quitting smoking or stopping other bad habits. By recognizing and acknowledging our racism, sexism and all the other brain-cultural-programmed “isms” that keep us at war with each other we can strive for the ultimate goal, a Kinder, more peaceful planet that benefits us all.
To Commit to Kindness we do not have to give up our differences, we can even choose to continue to embrace them, though I admit it will become harder and harder to return to the battlefield and the ballot box once we experience our interconnectedness that transcends whatever limitations in our lives have been placed by our rigid belief systems.
You don’t have to give up your loyalty to your tribe, you just have to recognize that your tribe is part of a global tribe which connects us all, everyone of us no matter how despised. We must take responsibility for managing our dual citizenships for the good if all. On the process of learning to respect the tribe of others, our connection to our Global Tribal soul grows stronger healing ourselves and the Earth.
It is in our planetary interest to develop our cosmic consciousness as our mother Earth relates rather than focus on those things that that keep us apart, we’d be more peaceful and less overwrought were we to hold fast the idea that we are all bundled together as global … and we must all take a breath, pull our minds back from the precipice of violence and fear and spread the seeds of kindness everywhere nourishing the peace that years to be freed from the domination of fear in our lives. The obsolete idea of what a man is of war and all that implies must submit to becoming a warrior of light If you will, a man myth. The courage to be gentle who protects the earth and its children for several generations to come.
Help boost world Kindness! Be heard with your contribution to the
Global Kindness Revolution!
There’s a quiet, gentle revolution sweeping through America’s prisons and communities, which started three years ago, on every 2nd Saturday in Community Kindness Circles in Swarthmore, PA’s Borough Hall. The project began with award-winning author, activist and filmmaker, Judith Trustone, and grew out of “Healing with Words,” her Creative Writing Programs in prisons. With anti-violence prisoners designing and funding the first batch of Kindness Cards, more than 70,000 have been distributed globally, so far.
The Global Kindness Revolution is spreading through Kindness Circles in a broad range of civic, religious, schools, and human rights groups. Community Kindness Circles are available for scheduling. For more information contact Judith Trustone at email@example.com or call 610-328-6101. For those unable to attend an event, join us at 4:00pm every Saturday for our Virtual Kindness Circle wherever you are (see directions on the Kindness Circle page). The Kindness Circle events compliment all religious beliefs and children are welcome to attend if they are able to sit quietly. The Circles are free, but donations toward the printing of more Kindness Cards are appreciated.
If you would like to place an order for Kindness Cards, please go to the Contact page, write “Kindness Cards Request” in the subject line and indicate in your message how many Kindness Cards you would like at 20 cents each, and where you would like the Kindness Cards sent. To make a general donation, go to the Home page and click on Donate (scroll to bottom), or send your check to:
Global Kindness Revolution and Sagewriters
P.O. Box 215
Swarthmore, PA 19081