What does kindness mean to you?
I feel kindness is one of the most treasured yet overlooked values – to me, it speaks to our common humanity and shared experience of living on this planet. Once you bring kindness into your life it is easy to make decisions and choices that help you become the person you wish to be. Of course, no-one is perfect, but being kind is such a simple thing and yet can have a huge impact on everyone around you. Kindness can manifest in many ways from the small gestures to the big ones – it doesn’t really matter as long as you are holding yourself true to kindness as a core value and a way of being.
What is the kindest thing you have done?
Hmmm.. this is a tricky one! When I give with joy from my heart. From volunteering, place-making, donating, supporting and encouraging others, uplifting others to reach their potential, holding space without judgment, being a good partner, mum, friend. This is when I feel I am connecting in with a higher version of myself. When I am aligned with purpose and give without expectation of anything in return.
Why does kindness matter?
It matters because it helps us to build connection and belonging, to be part of a movement for positive change and compassion. To show empathy and understanding to others. It matters because it is central to our individual and our wider community’s wellbeing. And because the world can be a hard place and life can be challenging, the kindness of others offers us strength and the ability to keep going through dark times back to the light.
Tell a story of a time when someone was kind to you
My husband is always so kind and helps me all the time, believing in me and my dreams – he’s such an amazing role model for our boys and helps us create a warm home filled with love and laughter (& it literally is warm at the moment as he brings in the firewood!). I’m also so grateful for everyone who has supported and encouraged Joy of Giving – kindness and support comes from unexpectant places and it gives me such courage and hope for the future. When I held our first fundraising event earlier in 2019 I was so humbled by the offers of help and support from friends and local businesses – their kindness and generosity allowed me to host an amazing event which truly celebrated the joy of giving and receiving and created circles of kindness that rippled through our community.
Bio: Originally from Northland, Naomi is a mother of 3 boys who currently lives in Hillcrest, North Shore. She has a background in strategy/policy and is a community place-maker and has been a volunteer for several organisations. She hosted the first Joy of Giving charity fundraising event in April this year as a way to build community, connection, and contribution. Naomi is passionate about community wellbeing and contributing to New Zealand being the place where everyone can grow up knowing kindness. Her mission through Joy of Giving is to increase kindness, compassion, and joy in Aotearoa/New Zealand.