Monday, November 27, 2017

Bring Kindness Back

 Bring Kindness Back
Click to read the article and view the video online.

Shortly before she was sworn in as the new Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern spoke to Checkpoint with John Campbell as she was on her way to Government House in a Crown car.

She said she wants the new government to "feel different", to be empathetic and kind.
There was a significant part of her that was focused on the work that needed to be done, she said.

Jacinda Ardern with her nieces outside Parliament today. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King
"Once you're there, get on with it."
She said she wanted the government to feel different.
'I know I need to transcend politics' - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
"I want it to feel like we are a government that's truly focused on everybody. Perhaps I'm more acutely aware of that sense having now led a set of negotiations in our government that brings together a range of parties.
"I know I need to transcend politics in the way that I govern for this next term of Parliament but I also want this government to feel different, I want people to feel that it's open, that it's listening and that it's going to bring kindness back.
"I know that will sound curious but to me if people see they have an empathetic government I think they'll truly understand that when we're making hard calls that we're doing it with the right focus in mind."
She said there were tough times during the coalition negotiations.
"It's not about just preserving people's political careers. It's not about power. It's about being in a position to make a difference to people who need it most.
"This will be a government that works with others.
"There is a lot to do."
Asked if there was a central tenet to her approach to the new role, she said it was empathy.
"Empathy is the one thing that I think that's your foundation, that's your grounding, and we'll keep ourselves in constant check." 
"I hope that elements of life can stay the same. But I equally expect it's a busy job. There will be a lot that changes.
"I think [people] probably just want us to make good on all of the things we said we'd try our best to achieve."
She said the job was about following through, acknowledging failure, and being up front.
Ms Ardern also said her sister, who lives in London, just had a baby.
She had a 'large' baby boy - 9.4 pounds - today, she said.
"It does mean that my mum is over in London with her, but my father is here, which is lovely.
"There's a significant part of me, whilst I feel a huge enormous sense of privilege, you walk down the halls of Parliament and you see the portraits of those who have been lucky enough to hold the role before and there are not many faces."
She is the 40th Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Why Kindness Matters

A couple of years ago my colleague and friend Beverly Kay shared this with a group of teachers online.  It is such a thought provoking message that it should be shared on our kindness blog:

"Recently I had a short stint in hospital. It always blows me away how people can dedicate their lives to helping people like me reach their full health potential. In fact a fair whack of cash, and precious hours of doctors, nurses, and a raft of other medical personal, has been dedicated to ensuring I get to leave hospital fit and healthy to live the life I want to live. Thats very humbling.
So first and foremost I want to thank those who have so kindly cared for me.

The health system has many similar characteristics to the education system. It if full of people there to help people.  Helping people reach their full potential. To ensure this is done as efficiently, effectively and as successfully as possible - there are systems, procedures, policies in place for the smooth running of a hospital.

And there-in lies the rub.

As part of my recovery process I was encouraged to walk around and around the ward many times a day. Similar to many ECEs and Schools, the ward displayed its philosophy of care on the walls. Alongside this was a list of roles that medical team on that ward saw as important parts of their job. There was also what appeared to be a list of reminders about how these roles should be carried out. There was an anagram - I think it was PEEK - and it started with Pop-In “Have you popped in to see your patient and asked them how they are doing.”

I had many nurses “Pop-In” and ask “How are you doing today Beverly?” - which was nice. I could see they were fulfilling their ‘role’ and some connection was made. And then there were other nurses. They breezed in with wonderful smiles on their faces, chatted about the photos of my family I had on the wall, drew my attention to the sun shining through the window, and paused at my bedside with the look that said “I’m here for you”. And I knew that these nurses cared. 

They truly cared. The doctors and nurses who walked into my room with a genuine smile, looked me in the eye, greeted me and introduced themselves; who shared with me the reason for their visit, commented on my photos, shared a laugh, listened to my stories; who had kindness in their eyes - they were there because they truly wanted to help me and cared.

People approaching us with kindness makes a huge difference to how we feel about ourselves, how we feel about them, how we feel about the next few moments of time.

Kindness and truly caring matter. They matter in health. They matter everywhere.

It might pay to consider our own situation - is Kindness something written or described on the wall as part of our role or philosophy, or is it something that lives within us and manifests itself through every interaction we have with children and families?

Wendy Lee lives and breathes kindness, so I am confident to quote her on this subject because it is not just words - there is a huge amount of thoughtfulness and caring behind these words. “For me kindness is really at the heart of all we do. ‘Kindness is at the heart of the matter’. Manaakitanga is an important value for all of us (respecting others – their differences, showing hospitality, kindness, friendship, nurturing and care for everyone). Piero Ferrucci argues that it is this trait that will not only lead to our own individual happiness and the happiness of those around us, but has the potential to strengthen powerfully the relationships that surround us. 

I thought I'd add John Sweeny's Ted talk to this. His website states "Unless you're too busy breathing, you're never too busy to be kind."

What does kindness feel like in you?"

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Dr Rangimarie Turuki Rose Pere CBE

One of the dimensions that Dr Pere talks about to assess wellbeing relates to emotions and senses. She talks about Babies, and children who have not been programmed by the State or Religion, can “read” us, and let us know exactly what they think and feel about us, they have "intuitive intelligence"

Are we the kind teacher who has time to listen and to 'be' with children, is 'aroha' embedded in our actions with whanau, tamariki and colleagues?

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

It is important to give thanks for each day, there is so much research now into the power of gratitude. For example there is scientific evidence that by practising gratitude we can create some important biological changes, such as a decrease in cortisol and stress levels. Gratitude will boost our energy on so many levels and create a more positive and enthusiastic outlook on life.

Amit Amin has a blog and has written about ‘The 31 Benefits of Gratitude You Didn’t Know About: How Gratitude Can Change Your Life’…

He has developed this graphic listing all the benefits of gratitude that he compiled from the results of more than 40 research studies on gratitude. Check out his full blog