Just to be very clear KindFest does not promote the type of violence my cross stitch is suggesting, I was just very irritated and frustrated by people at the time. And I still am if I’m being truthful, I have no regrets on the cross stitch...😉
I made this piece after watching KindFest 2020 (www.teamkind.com) and seeing so many truly inspirational people speak about kindness, what it means to them and how it can make the world better. This was not a bunch of people with #bekind in their social media bio and then being anything but, this was a group of people wanting to make the world a better place and an even bigger group of people wanting to learn from them and help them with it. It’s an online festival, I’ve attended both years it’s been running and it is a joy to watch and incredibly inspirational. You should definitely get a ticket (£5 – bargain!) in November this year.
I created this particular cross stitch because watching these interviews and talks made me think about what kindness is and how it can be perceived and portrayed by others. There seems to be a view out there that kindness is only ever quiet, self deprecating, and let’s be honest a complete doormat when it comes to the whims and fancies of those around them. As usual, I’m being flippant in this particular piece, but I stand by the sentiment. Kindness is not passive and it can be incredibly hard to be kind to someone especially if you don’t feel they actually deserve it. Being ‘the better person’ is not at all easy. Well not for me anyway, why do you think I have to release my rage by stabbing things? Fabric, just to be clear, not people. Well, except that time when… Oh, never mind, I digress.
I think kindness is strong and active and about having convictions (ideological rather than criminal). It’s doing the right thing and being nice about it. Kindness is trying to see things from another person’s point of view – bonus points if you don’t particularly like them, cos that shit is HARD! It’s about being friendly, generous and considerate. It’s about helping others, but not to the detriment of yourself. It’s not about giving in to that loud twat who always gets their own way because others think they’re ‘being kind’ by not making a fuss. Use your kindness to stand up for others who, for whatever reason, are not able to stand up for themselves or could just really use your backing. Use it to support people around you in their profound endeavours, or their amusingly silly distractions. Doing the ‘kind’ thing may not seem so at first sight, it might be steering someone away from behaviours or actions that are detrimental, no matter how attractive they are to that person at the moment. It isn't just about being kind to others either, I think being kind to yourself is very important but so very difficult to do. How easy is it to slide into a habit of speaking to yourself terribly for something that’s gone wrong, when you would never dream of speaking to others in the same way? Cut yourself some slack and forgive yourself.
You can be kind and still say no. Saying no does in itself does not make you unkind. Being kind is not synonymous with automatically agreeing with someone and treating yourself as ‘less than’. It is supporting others and raising them up. It’s about treating others the way you yourself would like to be treated. It’s about being tolerant when you know a good person is just having a very bad day. It’s about apologising when it’s you who’s been an idiot after a very bad day.
And if all else fails, just punch them in the throat. I'm KIDDING!