“Kindness is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. Affection, gentleness, warmth, concern, and care are words that are associated with kindness. While kindness has a connotation of meaning someone is naive or weak, that is not the case. Being kind often requires courage and strength. Kindness is an interpersonal skill.” -Psychology Today

Now more than ever, we need to be kind to one another and be mindful of one another’s health and safety. We should wear a mask and social distance not just for our own wellbeing, but for the wellbeing of those around us.

Born This Way Foundation’s Take on Kindness

Born This Way Foundation (BTWF) is setting a great example of spreading the conversations around kindness. Their #BeKind21 campaign called on participants to take a pledge in practicing an act of kindness each day from September 1-21. Under the hashtag #BeKind21, individuals shared acts of kindness on social media, such as wearing a mask, voting, practicing self-care, and advocating for Black Lives Matter (BLM). Read more on 2020 #BeKind21 Digital Toolkit.

Another great initiative of BTWF is Channel Kindness – a digital platform creating a safe space for young people to share their stories of kindness, resilience, and community. Channel Kindness’ audience is inspired to create a kinder and braver world by highlighting the people and organizations that are doing good in their communities, one story at a time.

Lady Gaga’s Take on Kindness

Lady Gaga shared this Instagram post after the book’s release. “Channel Kindness is a book written by young people from all over the world. My mother [Cynthia] and I, along with our very close friend and collaborator [Maya Smith], have spent years cultivating the stories of young people and celebrating them for their bravery. This book not only includes their stories, but also my own, and is very much about the mental health of not only the world but the mental health crisis in 2020. It is more important than ever that we channel kindness towards each other, for each other, and with each other in a vision for a kinder and braver world.”

2020. Lady Gaga with her mother, Cynthia, promoting Channel Kindness book. Credit: Lady Gaga’s IG.

Lady Gaga also emphasized the importance of kindness and the work of BTWF in her VMA acceptance speech on August 30, 2020, where she won five awards.

“I want you to know I failed over and over again as an actress and as a musician when I was young, and though I gave back to the local community through service as a young woman in New York, philanthropy became a much bigger part of my life as a star, and I started the Born This Way Foundation with my mother, Cynthia, once my record broke. I want to share this award with everybody at home tonight. Everybody at home, that is their own form of a TriCon.

I wish for you to think right now of three things that define who you are, and take a moment to reward yourself for your bravery. This has not been an easy year for a lot of people. But what I see in the world is a massive triumph of courage.” – Lady Gaga at the 2020 VMA Awards

2020, New York. Lady Gaga giving her acceptance speech of the VMA TriCon award. Credit: Billboard.

MTG’s Take on Kindness

One of the eight principles of Maheen The Globe is ‘kindness’. Being kind to ourselves and those around us. We, as a team, have also taken the #BeKind21 pledge in September. Here are our individual takes on kindness.

2020, Gather Kitchen and Bar, Seattle. Maheen and Tessa on a company brunch.
2020, Seattle. Maheen The Globe’s Breast Cancer Awareness panel airing on Friday, Oct 9 with Tina Lissandrello, breast cancer survivor and Tessa’s mom.

Maheen’s Take on Kindness

Putting others’ needs before mine is how I would define kindness. Being sweet and gentle to others with our words and actions. Whether it’s your family members, friends, or loved ones. Starting it on an individual level at home first, and then spreading your kindness wings to your community. Nonetheless, self-care is just as important; I think of it as being kind to yourself. If your needs are not fulfilled, whether emotional, physical, or spiritual, you can’t fulfill the needs of others around you. So make yourself happy first!

Maheen’s Kindness Journal

(1) Taking care of my daughter’s physical and emotional needs.
(2) Putting on a sheet mask and practicing a 10-minute meditation.
(3) Teaching Tessa Urdu and singing in Urdu.
(4) Taking out time for physical exercise whether it’s dancing or running.
(5) Giving Tessa a gift card for self-care.
(6) Mentoring Tessa and guiding her so she can excel in her career goals and aspirations.
(7) Going on a girls brunch, for some toddler-free time and girl talk!
(8) Getting a hair cut and balayage, pampering myself!
(9) Global music collaboration – creating a creative and safe space for global musicians for sharing creative ideas, networking, therapy, and work opportunities.
(10) Creating a group chat to check with friends around the globe on how they’re holding up with the pandemic.
(11) Spending quality time with my family.

2020, Seattle. Maheen with her daughter Maha.
2020, Structure Salon, Seattle. Maheen getting a balayage by hair artist, Geraldine (styleclassedge).

Tessa’s Take on Kindness

Kindness to me starts with being kind to yourself. It’s a ripple effect and a cycle in itself. When I’m kind to others, it makes me feel good about myself and I see myself in a better way. Being kind to yourself can mean doing small things like a sheet mask or making yourself your favorite meal. As long as it puts you in a happy place, you can extend that happiness to others in the form of kindness. It’s kind to give people your time to help them with a difficult task or listen to them when they are going through a hard time. Kindness is happiness.

Tessa’s Kindness Journal

(1) Actively took time to check in with myself and my wellbeing. I sat by myself and just thought about how I felt that day.
(2) Cleaned my room to help me feel more decluttered.
(3) Got more mentally and physically organized in order to be successful in work, school, and life in general.
(4) Spent quality time with my family, partner, dog, and guinea pigs.
(5) Made sure my nails were done. Self-maintenance makes me feel good about myself.
(6) Went to see my grandma every day after she moved up here from Phoenix.
(7) Watched ’90 Day Fiance’ with my mom every Sunday.
(8) Got in the habit of praying.

2019, Phoenix. Tessa and her dog, Django.
2018, Edmonds, WA. Tessa and her mom at a dog park.

Authors’ Concluding Note: As we approach the holidays and time of giving, let’s remember to be kind!

This article is co-written by Maheen Mustafa, CEO/Founder, Editor-in-Chief and Senior Writer of Maheen The Globe (MTG) and Tessa Hoyos, Writer and Editor of MTG, a Seattle-based, independent media outlet covering global stories and perspectives. Whatever rings global, we’re on it! They cover social impact, wellness, education, health, fashion, culture, business, tech, space, climate, and music on MTG.

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