I Can’t Have Children.
As a result of years of ill health, at 32 years old, I had to have a hysterectomy. My dream of becoming a Mum was quickly extinguished. We can all identify worst moments in our lives. My surgeon delivered the news to me in such a wonderful way. (Note, I was still in recovery). “Naomi, we took your uterus“. She walked off.
Devastated? That doesn’t even begin to cut it. Coping with surgically induced menopause, pain and infection was enough. I was angry and sad for years and did all I could to avoid going out or having to be around children. I had friend’s who were scared to tell me they were pregnant.
What Happened Next.
I had all the inspiration I needed in the form of emails from 32 strangers. Supported by my husband and best friend, Matt, we officially launched The Cool To Be Kind Project as a global kindness movement.
The Cool To Be Kind Project gives people a platform to be conscious of their actions and to be aware of the feelings of others.
I often struggle to see how it takes finding a card to inspire kindness. I am also happy to be the driving force behind it, if it is what people need.
It’s strange looking back because one day I woke up and something had changed. I realised I had two choices. Firstly, to continue down the rabbit hole of self-pity and sadness, or secondly, look at this experience as an opportunity to spread kindness in the world. I chose the latter.
Christmas Kindness 2017.
With no expectation of response, I designed and hid kindness cards in random places around my hometown of Perth that encouraged people to undertake a random act of kindness in the lead-up to Christmas in 2017. When I received 32 responses after hiding 50 cards, ‘The Cool To Be Kind Project’ was born.
Random Acts of Kindness.
All the responses can be read here. These are a few of my favourites.
One man who found one of my cards had his Christmas lunch money refunded so he decided to take the homeless man he always greeted to lunch at a five-star restaurant.
A shop owner who found another of the kindness cards helped a dear customer plant a rose in memory of his late wife.
A lady, dying from cancer, believed she needed perspective and volunteered at a homeless shelter.
From the heart warming to the plain honest; I washed Mum’s car without her asking. She was stoked!
Through the The Cool To Be Kind Project, we show people that we all have the opportunity to build our best lives: to pay for someone else’s coffee, to say hello to someone rather than just smiling and to let someone with less shopping than you pay first.
As a result of other people’s kindness, The Cool To Be Kind Project has been featured as a good news story in The West Australian, on talk-back radio and mentioned in Parliament on Valentine’s Day, courtesy of Dr Anne Aly, my local federal minister, friend and just quietly, the first Muslim woman elected to Parliament. I struggle to be introduced as “Naomi, Australia’s Kindness Queen” because I am far from that!
Close to my heart? A message of thanks from Kate Everett, the mother of the late Amy ‘Dolly’ Everett. One of my first words of wisdom pieces I directed to bullies.
We’ve Gone Global!
Far from Perth, the kindness movement is now also making a difference globally – we send kindness cards all over the world. Two recent responses: finding a card in a hotel room in Philadelphia and a cafe in Arizona.
I can confidently say I no longer sit around waiting for happiness to find me, and make sure that as many people each day are on the receiving end of kindness.
Motivated. Yes. Mad. Most definitely. Scared. No.