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EditorialsUp Front 11/21

Up Front 11/21

After the last couple of years, I guess we’re all ready for a season of goodwill: a time to think of friends and family, spread some Christmas cheer, bury the hatchet (no, not like that!) and get involved in a little bit of kindness. Let’s face it there is no shortage of Christmas movies showing us how we can make this a better world. In a recent discussion about kindness on Radio 4, one of the participants in the show, Jennifer Nadel, from the organisation Compassion in Politics, pointed out some of the advantages of putting kindness at the forefront of how we live our lives. ‘If we are fear-based and we focus on the things we fear, we will become more fearful’ she said. ‘If we focus on kindness, we will become more kind.’ On the same programme, Pinky Lilani, Founder and Chair of the Women of the Future Programmes, said she made a habit of carrying five chocolate gold coins with her every day to give out to people who are nice to her. Other than the occasional person saying they don’t like chocolate, she gets a very positive response. The value of actions such as this has been identified in many research projects and may well seem obvious; that there is usually a ripple effect spreading from a single act of kindness that brightens up other people’s lives throughout the day. Asked whether there was a time when there was more kindness in politics, Jennifer Nadel pointed out that one of the most impressive times in this country’s history was the period after the Second World War and the establishment of the welfare state. ‘Everyone had a common goal to try and pay something back to those that had laid down their lives’ she said. However, she also explained that today we have begun to forget the horrors that humanity can inflict on itself. With a slew of individual agendas prowling the digital world it is easy to be distracted from the benefits of real community engagement and collective interaction. So, looking at the selection of events and gatherings scheduled for the coming month, it’s heart-warming to see, that in the run-up to Christmas, there are many opportunities for people to catch up and refresh, especially after a time of enormous upheaval—mentally, physically, personally and politically. Merry Christmas.

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