The ‘Why wait til Christmas?’ Kindness Project

xmas tree

Why wait ‘til Christmas My full PowerPoint from assembly.

I dreamt up the ‘why wait til Christmas?’ Kindness project whilst trying to come up with an idea for a House Assembly on 13 November 2017. Just like I often do I googled the date to see whether that would lead to any inspiration. I discovered many things including such  facts as…

  • English Lady Jane Grey (famously Queen of England for 9 days) was accused of high treason on this day in 1553 and later was beheaded age just 16
  • Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the USA wrote a letter on this day including the famous quote “Nothing in this world is certain but death & taxes”
  • in 1865 famous showman PT Barnum opened the New American museum in Bridgeport, Connecticut, which became famous for its strange inhabitants including General Tom Thumb, a man who was just 25″ tall, A Fijian mermaid, Josephine Boisdechene, a lady famous for her beard which had grown to an impressive 2 inches by the tender age of 8 and finally, amongst others, the famous Siamese twins Chang and Eng who squabbled bitterly with each other and with Mr Barnum.

I ‘ummed and aahed’ about the possible message that could be extracted from these unrelated events and clicked to discover whether this day or week was significant for any other reason such as an awareness raising campaign, it was here that I discovered that it is of course anti-bullying week.

This got me thinking, I knew there would be other events on this theme during the week and so I looked a little further, quickly discovering that it is in fact World Kindness Day, an occasion which is marked in many countries around the world and started up in 1998. More about that later.

At the moment, I am writing a chapter for a book and have spent a long time thinking about prejudice. One theory of prejudice says that it stems from fear, fear that the world is a dangerous and threatening place and ultimately the fear that we are not good enough to be loved unconditionally. This makes us angry and makes us treat others as though it is they who are not worthy.  For some people the word is a dangerous and threatening place, and for others they are in fact the people who are making life dangerous.

Enter my favourite TED talk ever:

Jose Miguel Sokoloff talks to our human nature, he welcomes the bullies back by reminding them they are loved by their families and friends, he has his colleagues gave them an opportunity to come home.

This got me thinking, if Christmas is so powerful, why wait, why not try and bring a little bit of Christmas to every day. So back to World Kindness Day.

A little while ago I read about a therapy called self-compassion therapy, which is basically about being kinder to yourself. Unkind and angry people, many not have not received much kindness themselves. We all feel lonely and like we are on the outside from time to time, maybe we need to remember how to welcome ourselves back in like Sokoloff did for the guerillas.

And so the ‘Why wait til Christmas?’ Kindness project was born. I decided to make a small Christmas tree for Latter. The tree is replete with the necessary magical lights but you will also notice that this tree has something to say. Every heart has a different QR code that you can scan with your phone and it will take you to a little piece of kindness to see you through til tomorrow. Something like an advent calendar I hope the little tree will keep us going until the 15 December….

Currently all the QR codes link to pages on my website. I have also shared the page of codes so that other schools across the world can take part too. At the moment, I wrote every message myself but in time maybe other people would like to contribute a message of kindness for others and maybe next year, we’ll get a bigger tree!

Message 1                 Message 2                 Message 3                 Message 4

Message 5                 Message 6                 Message 7                 Message 8

Message 9                 Message 10                 Message 11            Message 12

Message 13               Message 14                 Message 15            Message 16

Message 17                 Message 18                Message 19           Message 20

Message 21                 Message 22                Message 23           Message 24

my QR messages Here are the QR codes if you wish to print and use.