Kindness takes a village 2

Kindness is always fashionable, and always welcome.

Amelia Barr


What comes to your mind when you hear that word, kindness?

 I grew up in a small country town, where everybody knew everybody. It was a cultural thing to make eye contact, acknowledge people, and say hello.

The term ‘it takes a village’ was very practical. I knew almost all my neighbours. When my parents would go away for the day, they knew that we would be in the safe hands of the ‘village’.

Sharing was the norm. When my neighbours would go away, they would always bring something back to share with our family. We did the same.

As I grew up, I found that I took this ‘village’ mentality with me. Whenever I went, I made sure that I made an effort to connect with people. I would always make an effort to say hello, and take the time to acknowledge the person.

During the festive season, I would occasionally visit children’s centres and donate clothes and foodstuff. I had learned from my ‘village’ that abundance was not necessarily in having much, but in sharing what I have.

The Cambridge dictionary defines kindness as:

the quality of being generous, helpful, and caring about other people, or an act of showing this quality.

In recent years, the festive season has been heavily commercialised and creates pressure for a lot of people. From meeting shopping deadlines to ensuring that lists are checked off, and that presents are delivered in time.

It is at such times that I reflect on the simplicity of ‘the village’. I choose not to be pressured into deadlines. I choose to look, see, and acknowledge the person sitting next to me.

I choose to see beyond myself and tap into the needs of those around me. To share the best version of me with the people within my proximity.

To me, that is kindness.

About Shiko Kariuki

Shiko Kariuki grew up in a small country town in Kenya and relocated to Australia to pursue a bachelor of science in nursing. After graduating from her studies, Shiko saw the gap in underrepresentation for women of colour. In order to share her story and make an impact, she pursued Miss Africa Perth, using the platform to advocate for African youth by championing community events and charity fundraisers. In 2019, Shiko was crowned Ms. Galaxy Australia 2019, a title which saw her competing in the U.S. and becoming 3rd runner up on the Galaxy international platform. She has used the platform to run quarterly confidence workshops for teenage girls from culturally diverse backgrounds in her quest for women's empowerment. Shiko blogs about her life experiences and culture. When not working as a registered nurse in the mental health sector, you will find her planning her next adventure in a bid to satisfy her wanderlust.

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