Today in Jersey in the Channel Islands we will celebrate Kindness!
It's the fourth biennial Jersey Kindness Festival - previous events happened in 2015, 2017 and 2019 - and it's a celebration of all the people here in our lovely island who live lives of kindness. Simple really.
At the beautiful harbourside in the village of St Aubin around 30 charities will set up stall to show off what they do, to chat to people, to have fun, and to show how every day their acts of kindness are making a difference to those living in our island and to the world.
Each of the charities has been tasked with bringing something fun to the party - so there are competitions and face-painting, arts and crafts, sculpting, yoga, hand reflexology and lots of conversations to be had.
It'll be educational as well. There's a chance to walk through a giant inflatable bowel - yes, you heard right - and to see how a specially adapted car works for disabled people.
And, one of the most favourite fun things to do, I'm sure, will be free pats with a Therapy Dog.
In the St Brelade's Parish Hall which is also on the harbourside there's an Affordable Art Show, with all the proceeds of sales going to the charities involved in the Kindness Festival.
Because of the COVID19 pandemic, lockdowns and restrictions, for the charities taking part, this will be the first time many of them will have had a chance to meet the public face-to-face and there will be loads of smiles all round.
Now, you might be wondering why I know so much about this event.
Well, it's because over the past few months I've been helping the organiser, Brian Clarke, to promote the event. And I shall be there, in the sunshine, to help out!
As you'll know if you've been following my daily blog since the start of the year, at the end of March I lost my job with the BBC so I've been doing a few writing and PR jobs in the past months. And the Kindness Festival popped up quite early. In my previous life as a radio producer and presenter I worked with Brian and covered the three previous Kindness Festivals, including interviewing and reporting from the festival itself.
It's been fun being involved again, from a different perspective, and it also fits in perfectly with another new project that's on the cards for me.
A few years ago I wrote a fun book with a friend of mine - Debbie Duncan. 'Lifelines' is the story of two friends sharing laughter, challenges, and cake and now I'm writing another book with Debbie ... and it's all about ..... KINDNESS!
Forgive me if over the next few months as I enter the final quarter of this year-long blog, I mention kindness a few more times.
I'm doing lots of reading about kindness and doing interviews and chatting to people, and in fact today at the Kindness Festival I'll also be doing just that! What a great opportunity to have loads of kind people in one place to chat to!
If I didn't know it already, I'm learning kindness is something that really defines us as humans. Anthropologists believe kindness is the strongest possible proof of our common humanity. Co-operation is the reason why, anthropologists believe, humanity has evolved and developed over more than 600 centuries.
All the science aside, of course we also know that kindness makes a difference, not just to those who are on the receiving end of kindnesses, whether they are 'random' acts or not, but also it affects the person who is GIVING the kindness.
When you do something good for someone, it makes YOU feel great. To see someone else's smile is amazing. Hopefully we're not kind to others to make OURSELVES feel good, but it can be a side effect.
Performing acts of kindness, with no thought of a return will, bit by bit, act by act, prove life-changing for giver and receiver alike.
We can all make a difference – and we can all help to change to the world!
Today we'll celebrate kindness, and all those people who do so much to share kindness and make our world a better place, but kindness is something we can all do ... it costs nothinbut it is a great gift!
Be Kind to each other everyone!
And it you're in Jersey today ... we'd love to see you at the Kindness Festival!