At 33 years old, Naomi Lambert had to have a hysterectomy, making it impossible for her to ever fulfil her dream of having children.
Devastated? That doesn’t even begin to cut it. And the fact that she now had to deal with early onset menopause was the icing on a cake she never wanted to eat.
Naomi realised she had two choices; to continue down the rabbit hole of self-pity and sadness, or look at this experience as an opportunity to spread kindness in the world.
She chose the latter. With no expectation of response, she designed and hid “kindness cards” in random places around her hometown of Perth that encouraged people to undertake a random act of kindness in the lead-up to Christmas in 2017. When Naomi received 32 responses after hiding 50 cards, ‘The Cool To Be Kind Project’ was born.
The responses were astonishing. One man who found one of Naomi’s 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!
The incredible stories of kindness from strangers that flooded in to Naomi were the inspiration she needed to officially launch 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. Kindness is free but not given freely and I’m determined to change that,” explains Naomi.
“Although I struggle to see how it takes finding a card to inspire kindness, if that is what it takes for people to become more aware of their actions, I am happy to be the driving force behind it”.
Through the The Cool To Be Kind Project, Naomi wants to 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.
Since its inception, The Cool To Be Kind Project has been featured as a good news story in The West Australian, on talkback radio and mentioned in Parliament on Valentine’s Day, courtesy of Dr Anne Aly, Naomi’s local federal minister. The icing on the cake was Naomi receiving an email of thanks from Kate Everett, the mother of the late Amy “Dolly” Everett after she penned a letter aimed at young people who feel the need to ridicule and bully others.
Far from Perth, the kindness movement is now also making a difference globally – cards are being hidden around Australia and the UK, has joined forces with the Positive People Army in Canada, and on a recent holiday to Phuket, was humbled when the hotel she was staying in took interest in jumping on board to spread the kindness, hoping that guests who found cards within their hotel would feel inspired to pay it forward whilst enjoying their holiday.
With a smile, Naomi confidently says she “no longer sits around waiting for happiness to come to her, and makes sure that as many people each day are on the receiving end of kindness”.