You’ve heard about it in the media. It’s big on Instagram. You may even have made it part of your daily routine. But the latest trend to join the likes of mindfulness, wellness, hygge and clean living is tipped to be more than a passing fad.
Kindness may sound like a day-to-day word that we all – some more than others – practice in a day-to-day way. But apply it more consciously to your lifestyle and the effects can be profound, says psychoanalyst Adam Phillips. “Kindness… not money – has become our forbidden pleasure.” Happiness was the buzzword for a while, but it was ultimately deemed too passive to provide an active sense of success; enter kindness.
As with many such movements, the kindness trend started life online, when content supporting one man’s act of goodwill went viral. Last winter in Bristol – a city suffering an 800% increase in homelessness over seven years – a man wrapped a scarf round a lamppost with a tag indicating it was not lost. The intention was for a rough sleeper to find and wear the scarf to keep warm. It sparked a wave of copy-cat do-gooders from Glasgow to Cornwall, where coats, hats and more scarfs were left out for those in need of warm clothing to tackle winter spent on the streets.
Kindness is not exactly a new concept (it was lauded in antiquity by Aristotle among others as a ‘characteristic of the magnanimous man’) but as a reaction to today’s increasingly detached, online world, it is strikingly modern. People are turning to old fashioned acts of goodwill as a means of resisting the pull of technology; to reconnect socially and share community spirit.
Modern life is fast paced though. When we’re rushing from school run to work meeting to weekly shop, when can we expect to find the time to take a moment out of our day for compassion towards others?
When we get away? Holidays allow us to suspend our daily schedule. The stresses and strains of rush-hour lifestyles take a back seat. And getting back to what matters most finds it way onto the agenda. The space to kick back, relax and spend quality time with family and friends – old and new – is the perfect environment for cordiality. So in their own act of courtesy, Kenwood’s destination experts have recommended some holidays that provide just that. Here’s how to practice kindness on holiday. Warning: may make you smile.
Flipping Good Deed
Doing a good turn needn’t be restricted to our fellow man to provide that warm glow of kindness. At Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa – Al Waha resort in Oman, a unique initiative is allowing holidaymakers to show their affection for animals too. In line with their pledge to support conservation in biodiversity, Shangri-La group set up the Sanctuary Care for Nature Project. As part of this initiative, the Turtle Care Project employs a dedicated onsite turtle ranger at Al Jissah Resort to protect hawksbill and green turtle nests on the hotel’s beach, and raises awareness among guests via talks and viewings. Better yet, time your holiday in Oman to coincide with the annual hatching, and you can sign up to help guide the baby turtles to the water. How’s that for a turtle-y un-shelfish act of kindness? (Sorry – Ed.) For other Shangri-La Turtle Care Project stories, check out Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Penang; Golden Sands Resort, Penang; and Shangri-La Al Husn Resort and Spa.
It may be out of the news now, but Hurricane Irma’s destructive legacy is felt everyday by the people of Barbuda. Many residents were displaced in the wake of the devastating storms last September, so sister island Antigua stepped up to shoulder the burden with emergency shelters as the cost of repairing the damage started to add up. If this wasn’t enough of a strain on the economies of these beautiful Caribbean destinations, Antigua – itself totally unaffected by the storm – suffered a decline in tourism; people thought storm damage had affected this island too. Not the case. Antigua remains the untouched paradise it’s always been: gorgeous beaches (one for every day of the year); cinematic scenery and naval heritage are there for all. Want to show some love and be kind in the Caribbean? By simply booking a holiday to Antigua you’ll be helping towards rebuilding their economy. All you have to do is pick your spot on a sunkissed beach and enjoy it. This kindness business is hard work isn’t it?
Kind of Amazing
Kindness can work on a personal level too. In his book Kindfulness, psychotherapist Padraig O’Morain says: “People who practice self-compassion which is kindness towards oneself are good at taking challenges.” What could be kinder to oneself than a primping, preening, prettifying spa treatment? Luxury holidays with added treats like spa days are what we do best at Kenwood Travel. And our experts can certainly recommend where to indulge in the finer things in life if self-kindness is your holiday goal. We’re thinking the Maldives. Few destinations offer a more tranquil backdrop for a relaxing spa session, and OZEN by Atmosphere resort’s generous INULGENCE plan spoils guests with two complimentary treatments per stay at the amazing ELENA Spa. Go on, you deserve it.