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Mental Health Awareness Week - Be Kind. Written by WWTW mental health therapist, Frances Howlett

“Use your voice for kindness, your ears for compassion, your hands for charity, your mind for truth and your heart for love” -Buddha This is all very appropriate and true. But just to look at the kindness part for a minute.


Someone told me that they had bought a homeless man a tea and a bacon roll. I said that I thought it was a very kind gesture.

What he then did was to tell me that he was worried because he didn’t stop to consider if the man was vegetarian or shouldn’t eat bacon for religious reasons, and would he have preferred coffee? I stopped him and pointed out that he was turning his act of kindness and consideration into an act of thoughtlessness and no consideration and therefore not being very kind to himself! The point is that his first thought was in fact kindness toward the homeless man and that was it.

Don’t overthink it. Kindness is simple, it doesn’t take great thought. We are all capable of it. It’s not about grand gestures; it’s about the thought being kind and being there in the first place. We’re all missing someone at the moment in these strange times, so being kind to those who are around us is important, but being kind to ourselves is important too.

Thank you for your kindness.