Everybody wins when we are kind

Bev Couzensmental health, News, News & Events, Standard

The Cambridge dictionary defines kindness as ‘the quality of being generous, helpful and caring about other people.’

It always makes my heart swell when I hear about acts of kindness or more importantly if I experience them myself (both on the giving and receiving end).

Many of those in my network know my son Benedict was born with Downs Syndrome and he is and has always struggled at times to manage some of the daily tasks some can perform with ease.  He also experiences pathological demand avoidance (PDA) which means if someone asks him to do something, he can do the total opposite or just not comply at all.  It’s tricky and can be challenging to manage.

We were lucky enough to spend the very hot week in Tenby on a family holiday – 5 degrees cooler than at home with a gentle sea breeze. Ben doesn’t cope well with hot weather so the PDA was out in force.  On visiting a local activity centre to play adventure golf (his passion) and we asked him to allow us to apply sun cream.  As you might have guessed we got a point-blank refusal.  The lovely lady in the activity centre who served us immediately went into action talking to Ben about how important it was for him to wear sunscreen and how he would be much safer playing golf if he wore it. 

She swept him along with her enthusiasm and yes you have guessed it – he complied with the application of the cream.  She was enthusiastic, talked directly with Ben and not us (essential and often forgotten for those with disabilities) and carried him along with her fun attitude and kindness.  It made such a difference for us, not having to have yet another tussle to get important things done.

We all had a good time, and Ben engaged with the staff member each time we visited, having a great chat about his interests.  Kindness matters and makes such a difference in so many ways.

How can YOU show kindness today?