Welcome to Provo Kindness! I initially thought I’d use this post to let you know why and how we started this initiative. If you’d like that background, please visit the “About Us” section of the website. Instead, we want to give you a better idea what Provo Kindness is by discussing: What is kindness?
In my high school junior year English class, we spent a great deal of time studying poetry. My homework every night was to open the dictionary and write down EVERY possible definition of every single word of every poem. At the time, I thought my teacher was crazy. It was one of the most time-consuming things I did that busy year, despite working with a group to divide up the workload. I initially thought to myself, “I know what most of these words mean. Why is she making us do this tedious work of writing definitions of even the most obvious words?” By the end of the poetry unit, I totally understood and was grateful that she had us do the hard work. We would discuss the poems in class with our definitions in hand. As we studied line by line, we looked at all of the meanings of each word and I realized that each poem had several layers of meaning. The poetry took on additional significance and I grew to see new beauty in the words on the page.
What does this have to do with kindness? Just like an Emily Dickinson poem, I see multiple layers of meaning.
What do you think of when you hear the word “kindness”? There are about as many answers to this as there are people, because our individual experiences shape our perception of kindness. Perhaps you think of doing little things for others, big service projects, or random acts. You might remember a time when someone reached out to you and lifted you up. Or maybe your perception of kindness is a negative one due to a bad experience with someone who has acted in a kind way towards you outwardly, but has not made you feel truly welcomed or included.
Whatever your personal definition about kindness, we are here to challenge your definition and expand it! Kindness is so much deeper than the surface actions we perform, as good as those may be. Kindness is about the inner attitudes. It’s about being genuine in seeing others as fellow human beings and treating them as such.
I like to think of Kindness as a big umbrella. Under that umbrella you’ll find:
We hope you’ll join us as we talk about everything under the kindness umbrella. We wish to increase your awareness. We’ll also share kindness challenges, inspiring quotes, and stories of people in our community. And just like my high school poetry study, as we do the hard work to increase our understanding, the beauty around us will increase and our lives will be greatly enriched.
Tell us, what would you add under the kindness umbrella?
We'd love to hear your thoughts! Please remember: Share appreciation and positivity, give others the benefit of the doubt, & share your own experiences without assuming intentions of others.