Caring through kindness

Life Positive|April 2020

Caring through kindness
Nirmala Mehendale, founder trustee and general secretary of Kindness Unlimited, says that the smallest gesture counts.
Rishi Rathod
Kindness is one of the most important and simplest of acts that we can do, both for ourselves and others. It can help one to connect with others effortlessly, relax, feel wanted, and develop a general feeling of well-being. Ms. Nirmala Mehendale, founder trustee and general secretary of Kindness Unlimited, says, “If we even begin using the word ‘kind’ more often, we could trigger change. Kindness can help all of us live a little more collaboratively in today’s fast-paced digital world, where we seem to lose some of that human connection.” She further adds, “Speaking from my experience, kindness can become a habit; the more we do, the more we start seeing the benefits it brings to oneself and to others.”

Kindness nurtures humanity

When one digs deep into the philosophy and practical application of being kind, we realize that right through Darwin’s evolution of man, co-operation and collaboration have helped humans innovate and prosper. With this understanding in mind, the movement Kindness Unlimited (KU) was started in 2005 from one of Mumbai’s suburbs, Vile Parle (East), by a retired businessman, Mr. Vasant Kalbag, who, in his late 70s, along with Nirmala, an HR professional, and others decided to inspire individuals, organizations, and communities with the power of kindness.

Over the years of working selflessly, Nirmala and her team have helped to connect givers and receivers. Nirmala says, “I’ve been contemplating on the kindness philosophy and have realized it’s so important to take care of ourselves; being kind to oneself is the first step. In an aeroplane, in times of turbulence, we are told to take the oxygen masks, before we help children and seniors. So, with this example, I share that once we are kind to ourselves, we can help and spread the magic to others.”

A balancing act

KU discovered that there are people who are unsuccessful givers, namely those who give time, energy, and resources to the extent of getting burnt out. Such people become negative and are unable to sustain their efforts to giving joyfully. At the other end of the spectrum are those who are ‘takers.’ They keep taking from others and from society far more than is necessary, and thus we see the greed of enormous proportions that is harmful. Societies don’t see the danger of how more greed will ultimately upset the delicate balance of good and evil, potentially leading to anarchy.

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April 2020