Kindness is What We All Need

This blog article, written by Hanna Joy Atkinson, a Special Olympics Sargent Shriver International Global Messenger, was originally posted by Special Olympics North America. Lady Gaga recently interviewed Hanna who served as a reporter for Lady Gaga’s Channel Kindness, the digital platform for her Born This Way Foundation.

Hanna Joy Atkinson standing with a young man in front of a company logo that reads: Channel Kindness.

In my view, the way to treat others well is through kindness. I will take this moment to highlight the essence of kindness and describe how kindness can make a difference to all of you.

Kindness, at its core, is being considerate and showing respect. It can revive another person’s spirit and your own soul, too. One act of kindness can multiply to more acts of kindness and affect many, many people.

The overall message: Kindness creates more kindness. It can change lives!

Why is kindness important in life? Kindness is a positive, powerful skill and when we live with kindness, we make others feel good, happy and valued.

Here are some examples to keep in mind for being kind:

  • To help someone with a task in order to take the pressure off of them.
  • Really listening without judgment.
  • Do something small like bring (or send) coffee, blankets, homemade cards, flowers and even watering plants!
  • Do chores without having any arguments, and do them with a smile :)

One absolutely life-changing experience that I was fortunate to be a part of was with Channel Kindness. Channel Kindness is a digital platform created by Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation. It states that it’s “a safe space for young people to tell their stories of kindness, resilience, and community. By highlighting the people and organizations that are doing good in their communities, Channel Kindness’ audience is inspired to create a kinder and braver world, one story at a time.”

It was magnificent to be one of the reporters for Channel Kindness in 2018.

Hanna Joy Atkinson and Tim Shriver.

The stories that I wrote about were on Tom Golisano, who generously supports Special Olympics Health programs, my best friend’s nonprofit called Score A Friend, a local Colorado community restaurant called Graceful Cafe, a fraternity that does a bike ride across America called Journey of Hope, and ultimately my favorite story on Tim Shriver and the Special Olympics community.

Now, as an alumni reporter, I can submit future stories that are inspired by kindness because of this experience.

The creators of Channel Kindness decided to compile some of the most impactful stories into a book in which Lady Gaga shares her powerful insights about each story. I was surprised to find out that there were three stories of mine in the book! This was a dream come true! The bonus feature was that I was invited to read my own stories for the book’s audio version in a fancy recording studio! Who knew that I would be part of such a spectacular project. I look forward to the book release in 2020.

Hanna Joy Atkinson in a soundbooth.

In a time during this COVID-19 situation, we need kindness in the world today more than ever. So please join me in being kind. Challenge yourself to do (at least) one act of kindness each day.

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