1 July 2017 – Rotterdam
What an adventure! The 1st ‘Make Kindness Great Again’ day on Saturday, July 1st in Rotterdam. It gave me and many others lots of energy. It is a day I won’t forget and hope to experience many more times in the future.
‘This is exactly what we needed’’
For anyone who doesn’t know the concept: ‘Make Kindness Great Again’ is an activity where we perform an act of kindness and invite others to do the same. Simply said: share kindness and inspire others to do the same. To help and remind people we shared a card with our message.
Make Kindness Great Again is one of the 20 happiness interventions I’ve created. Next to working on policies for creating happiness I would like to invite municipalities to work with these happiness interventions. This is a concrete way to strengthen social happiness. At Central Station in Rotterdam, we gave the best example for a happier world.
Henk Koster said: “This is exactly what we need. It is concrete and accessible.”
And concrete actions that make you and the other happy is exactly what we, at Action for Happiness Holland, stand for. Check out the Facebook Live with Henk Koster (in Dutch).
Facebook Live with Henk Koster (in Dutch)
Kindness works, that’s what I experienced in Rotterdam. It was a beautiful day thanks to many volunteers. Sharing compliments, give a flower to a stranger, look each other in the eyes for a few minutes to really look at someone, a spontaneous conversation: you will soon see a smile on someone’s face. The hero of the day was Irene Bekker, police officer in Rotterdam and co-chairman of ‘Roze in Blauw’ (LGBT network within the police). Irene shared the most acts of kindness. She loved it. “Anyone can share kindness. It is not that difficult to give a compliment or be nice to others.”
And it is easy! I, for example, asked my florist and he gave me flowers I could give away. With my daughter I collected all the stuffed toys she doesn’t play with anymore in a plastic bag, to give to children who passed us by at the station. Wonderful experience. I showed my daughter photos of smiling kids ‘faces with her stuffed toys, you can imagine her joy and pride.
Kindness connects. And we could feel that connection in our group of volunteers from 80 different cultures. Thanks to Amina Ali Hussen of ‘Krachtvrouwen Oude Westen’, 100 beautiful women dressed in self-made African clothes accompanied us to the station and that attracted a lot of attention. What a power these women have!
I am grateful others have experienced this day in such a way that they are inspired to strengthen their own purpose, their own and others happiness. I will stop now because I can go on for hours about this day that went completely different from what I planned….It took hours before I talked to the mayor about our mission and actions. I gave him our ‘Make Kindness Great Again’ button and offered him a session about the Exploring What Matters course. Loubna, one of the volunteers, quickly got her iPhone to video the moment.
It was a rainy day, even though I have to confess, I didn’t notice the rain that much. I was pleasantly surprised when 300 people stood hand in hand and facing each other in silence at the station for 2 minutes. It was a goosebumps moment. I am not a fan of hugging strangers, so I told everybody that I wouldn’t. The funny thing is, on this day I hugged more strangers than ever. It was spontaneous and I liked it. Oh, and did I mention that I loved that so many people volunteered.
The next Make Kindness Great Again
Share a little kindness with the people you meet today and tomorrow and contribute that way to Make Kindness Great Again.
Wish you lots of happiness,
Initiator Action for Happiness Nederland
Our Happiness is part of something bigger. Action for Happiness Nederland is the International Chapter of the global Action for Happiness organisation www.actionforhappiness.org