By: Amy Cheng
An act of kindness could change and possibly even save a life, according to the family of Thomas Kelly, who was killed in a random one-punch attack eight years ago.
Stay Kind, an Australian not-for-profit organisation promoting harm reduction through kindness, is encouraging all Australians to take part in Kind July and do something kind each day of the month.
Formerly known as the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation, it was launched by Ralph and Kathy Kelly, the parents of Thomas Kelly – and Stuart Kelly, who took his own life four years after his brother was killed.
Kind July was launched in 2019 and this year’s campaign will focus on inspiring and encouraging kindness in a pandemic.
Chief operating officer Natalie Zelinsky said an online system has been set up so everyone can participate.
“There’s no cost to join and kindness doesn’t cost anything, whether you’re giving or receiving, you can choose a simple act of kindness,” she said.
“Kindness is really important because it’s kind of the mainstay of community, it’s really the true currency of humanity.” – Natalie Zelinsky, Chief Operating Officer of Stay Kind
Why kindness is important
Australians have really been challenged in the past year, with the pandemic, bushfires and droughts, she said.
“Kindness is really important because it’s kind of the mainstay of community, it’s really the true currency of humanity,” Ms Zelinsky said.
“We don’t always know what someone’s going through or what has happened, but kindness is simple and it can really make a difference to someone’s life.”
This could be bringing someone a cup of coffee, including a nice note in an email, helping someone with their shopping or pumping up a tire, she said.
“It’s exercising that kindness muscle. Like any muscle, we need to exercise it,” she said.
“We can do a simple exercise each day or take a moment to think ‘how was I kind today? How can I stay kind today?’.”
“It’s exercising that kindness muscle. Like any muscle, we need to exercise it.” – Natalie Zelinsky, Chief Operating Officer of Stay Kind
Transport NSW is getting on board, with the lighting of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and promoting a range of messages across its rail and bus networks.
Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said public transport customers are being encouraged to show compassion, care and generosity, both on and off the network.
“The pandemic has been really tough on us all. It’s during these tough times that we really need to reach out to each other and show support and compassion,” he said in a statement.
The NSW Police Force is also joining in and has recorded a song.
Launched ahead of last year’s campaign and prior to the current Sydney lockdown, It’s Not Hard to Stay Kind was written by Stay Kind ambassador Greg Page, who is also the original Yellow Wiggle.
David Elliott, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, said there is an obvious link between emergency services and the Stay Kind movement following the tragic death of Thomas Kelly.
“Our emergency services, particularly the NSW Police, have a goal to create a safer NSW and encouraging acts of kindness is a wonderful way to achieve that,” he said in a statement.
- If you or someone you know is struggling or needs a compassionate listening person to talk to, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, or Australia’s Suicide Callback Service, on 1300 659 467.
Article supplied with thanks to Hope Media.