From an early age, I remember standing in a shop having received one of my first wages as a papergirl. I bought my mum a tiny little trinket from the corner shop. I was so pleased that I earnt the money, and then made her smile giving her the gift. I have seen the struggle my parents have had over the years with funds due to being disabled, and so to give that little bit of happiness in that moment meant so much.
I have always been a giving person. I have been on holidays and given my trainers to someone who didn't have shoes in the Dominican republic! That was before I went to Kenya where I gave so freely. Not only items, but my love, my time and skills to help them.
During my time as a Police officer I would invest time in people and show kindness to those I met. That included listening to the stories of those who had been arrested, because everyone has a story and I found it helped the person to build a rapport. See us coppers do care! We are human too! To supporting those with Mental illness. One particular lady, I helped with giving alot of time too as she had been institutionalised in a Mental health facility for so so long but she just needed someone to hear her. I spent time with her, listening to her struggles and helping her rebuild her home which gave her a better environment to live in. Anyone I met throughout my service, I can hand on my heart say that I treated them with dignity, kindness and respect.
I find Kindness addictive in some respect! To be able to keep people happy. There is science behind it - Like most medical antidepressants, kindness stimulates the production of serotonin. This feel-good chemical heals your wounds, calms you down, and makes you happy!
I urge those who are in a rut, to give out Kindness! To give yourself focus and purpose. When I retired at the tender age of 40, I would have been lost without AOK. It gave me something that I will forever be grateful for. The people that have rallied around it and the teamwork. I never imagined that I would be retired at this age. It came as a huge shock to be diagnosed with PTSD. As I said it is tough daily, but knowing that on my good days, I can carry out Acts of Kindness for others gives me direction and a place in a wonderful community. It fills me with such joy inside to be able to help others going through really awful situations to have a bit of light. I am very excited that we are working on our young ambassadors programme - to encourage that kindness is started at a young age so that it can encourage children to be kinder to each other. Bullying is awful and has such a detrimental effect on people. If we can target children at a young age with kindness it has the possibility of changing the course of their future interactions with others.
Even up until late last year, I became the target of bullies. Yes at this age, a group of ladies came together to try and bring AOK down. Total unfounded lies about me. Bullies. I won't name them. I will continue to be the kind and caring Kerry that I have always been, and I hope by them reading this blog, that they will see that I have never been anything but kind. Caroline Flack was the target of online bullies and sadly she tragically felt the need to end her life, so so tragic and people should see the consequences of their words. The message afterwards was clear - Be Kind.
Their messages were subsequently sent via an anonymous email to me. I vomited. I was ill for days after this. Having extreme PTSD, I believed the worst case scenario and even started at looking to move home and to quit AOK! However good friends around me persuaded me otherwise and that they knew they believed in me. This meant the world.
This is the consequences of people who do not know peoples' history and casting aspersions on people's characters without facts.
Give / do an act of kindness Start small, start by saying hello to someone who looks lonely, give a little gift to someone, smile! See what happens! :)
Let me know how you get on!