And we made it!! Week two of 2022, with our GBs' baking already back underway after a well deserved break. We're definitely ready to be back sharing kindness in our communities and looking forward to another year of dropping moments of sweetness off to our wonderful recipients.
A new year often invites reflection as well as looking to the future. GB Sarah Nutbrown from our Auckland chapter wrote this piece for us last year about being a GB, and we think it offers a great sense of perspective and a few warm fuzzies for 2022.
"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." - Aesop
I’ve spent this year thinking about kindness a lot. Not just in a “kindness is cool, I like kindness” kind of way (although it is, and I do), but in a “what do we understand about kindness, why are we kind and what makes it possible?” kind of way – they’re the questions I was investigating for my Honours research.
We often talk about the benefits of kindness – how it can make people feel happier and more grateful, and boost well-being – but we don’t very often hear about what makes kindness possible. In a chat with Jacqui Maguire on her podcast Mindbrew, Dr Oliver Scott Curry said that there are three things that tend to get in the way of people being kind – lack of incentive, lack of information, and isolation. It’s that third one I find really interesting.
Kindness seems to be an innate human quality, with babies as young as three months old seeming to show a preference for “helpers” over “hinderers”. But we live in a world where competition and individualism abound, which perhaps inhibits this natural response of ours. To be kind, or “do kindness”, it seems that we therefore need a community – we need to know that kindness is an accepted and appreciated behaviour, and that we’re not going to be “considered a mug”, as Dr Curry put it, if we’re the one being kind.
The good news is that when we find that community, it not only helps us to be kind ourselves, but it shows others that kindness is possible and encourages them to be kind as well. This is known as moral elevation – when we see someone else do something good, it makes us also want to help and become a better person ourselves.
Our Good Bitches Baking community, then, gives all of us Good Bitches the opportunity to act on those innate tendencies to be kind and to experience all the benefits that go with being kind. But that’s not all. It also lets us show others that kindness is an option, that it is appreciated, and that there are people out there who will support them when they’re kind.
So you, as a fabulous Good Bitch, are helping to spread kindness not just with the biscuits you bake and the cakes you deliver, but also with the Facebook posts you do, the tweets you write, the conversations you have, the friends who talk to others about “this baking thing that my friend does”, the events you go to, and the GBB gifts that you give. Every kind action you take is signalling to others that kindness is possible, and inspiring them to follow your lead.
I think we can see both sides of this at work with how quickly the GBB community has grown – as more people hear about it, they want to join in and be part of the community themselves. And I think that’s pretty awesome. Kindness is cool, and it’s great to be in the cool gang with you all. Let’s keep spreading that kindness and doing our bit to make Aotearoa the kindest place on earth!
By Sarah Nutbrown, Auckland Good Bitch.
If you'd like to read more on this subject, here's another article Sarah has written.