“My devastating journey with infertility lead me on to creating a global social movement.”
We at BoxHuman take time to celebrate humans who are inspiring, helping and bringing light within the world. We do this in order to rebalance some of the negative messages we often hear, see and receive on a daily basis. We met up with one of these amazing individuals…
Hi Naomi, thank you for talking with us today, let’s get started. Can you please tell us a little bit about you and what you do?
I’m the creator and founder of global social initiative, The Cool To Be Kind Project. I’m a survivor, blogger, author, wife, peer supporter, rainbow lover, Elton John fan, 3am baking extraordinaire, and kindness engager who believes that challenges are what makes life interesting but overcoming them makes life worthwhile.
Yay! What a great start! You’re definitely a multi-talented human with some really inspiring traits. Even though I want to pry into your Elton John loving and baking talents. I really would LOVE to know about ‘The Cool To Be Kind Project’ – What it is and what inspired you to do this and why?
My devastating journey with infertility ended with having to have a full hysterectomy and robbing me of my dream to be a Mum. I struggled physically and mentally…
I was at the shops one day when I saw a boy and his parents knock an older lady over and none of them stopped or even looked back. I questioned why such behaviour happens and how people could be so disrespectful.
I decided to challenge people to be kind by designing and subsequently hiding fifty kindness cards around my hometown. I didn’t tell anybody because I had no expectation of response.
Let’s just say I was amazed when in total, thirty two people responded with heart-warming and unique acts of kindness. This was all I needed to realise I had finally found the reason for all the heartache and officially founded The Cool To Be Kind Project.
That’s an absolutely amazing way to start this interview! It’s hugely inspiring to see how you’ve taken a very difficult personal challenge and an act of unkindness and turn it into something so powerful and positive. So how can people get involved with your project?
Kindness cards are available for purchase on the website. We are currently running the fifty two Weeks of Kindness challenge (currently at week 10) – where we release a new challenge ever Sunday.
I didn’t want this to be a run of the mill “hold the door open for strangers” challenge – it’s so much more than that and is hopefully allowing people to start to notice opportunities to help others and take the time to do so and not needing to go out of your comfort zone. I love to hear about kindness in real life and what people do with the cards, too.
“I realised I had two choices; to continue down the rabbit hole of seIf—pity and sadness, or look at this experience as an opportunity to spread kindness in the world.” – Naomi Lambert
What a great challenge! At BoxHuman we believe in the power of sharing positive messages as it can also enrich your life. Knowing this, can you please kindly tell us what you have learned from working on The Cool To Be Kind Project and how this has changed your life?
It was something someone said to me. I let an elderly gentleman go before me in the queue. I had more items in my trolley and I wasn’t in a rush. When I did, he stopped with a look of shock on his face.
It took all I had to ask if he was okay and he responded by saying he was finding it hard to work out what he was feeling because nobody had been kind to him in such a long time.
All I did was let him go in front of me. That is the one thing which keeps be motivated. To have a reaction like that is wrong is so many ways. Kindness is free but not given freely and I am most definitely changing that.
That’s incredibly inspiring Naomi and that’s why we at BoxHuman had to support your amazing mission. With a project like the one you’ve created there must be some incredible stories. What would you say was the most inspiring story or act of kindness you’ve ever heard or witnessed through people using your kindness cards?
The responses were astonishing…
- One man who found one the cards had his Christmas party money refunded so he could 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 heartwarming to the plain honest; I washed Mum’s car without her asking. She was stoked!
Such an insight into how humans can be so good to each other! Thank you for sharing those act of kindness, we really appreciate it. As with anything there is always something we can learn from someone else’s story. What do you think people should learn or take from your own inspiring story?
We are all guilty of being consumed in our lives but there is nothing better, even in the rush and busyness of life, when someone takes a moment to smile at you, pick up the phone to say hi or write a letter rather than send an email. We face so any distractions in our everyday world and are constantly drawn away from the present moment.
Kindness is about making meaningful connections, sharing experiences and creating memories. It’s the things that you can’t get back that really matter; sometimes we just forget that’s what life is about. Happiness lies in the small details – if you’re not looking, it becomes invisible.
So very true and such important advice to know and remember. If there was one positive thing you would say to someone to inspire and empower them what would it be and why?
Try to see challenges as the difficult bits of life where you practice coping in tough situations. What’s surprising is that looking back, I see the challenges I thought were insurmountable or the goals that seemed too far away were more easily achieved than I thought they would be.
Sometimes we surprise ourselves in what we are able to achieve. This experience made me stronger and better equipped to deal with other hurdles. Every challenge brings opportunities, so learn to look for them.
And can you tell me what inspires you on a daily basis and why?
The people who send me emails and comment or send messages. Re-reading these emails and the kindness displayed in so many wonderful ways is inspirational and motivating. When I’m struggling or feel like I don’t matter, these really help.
And last but not least… A BoxHuman is an empowered individual. They will not be defined by society’s labels. They show the better qualities of humankind, such as strength, kindness and inspiration. Can you please tell us what makes you a BoxHuman?
Society puts pressure on us as we get to a certain age to be married and have babies. Unfortunately, this isn’t always easy. I felt that I had failed when I couldn’t conceive except I hadn’t failed because it wasn’t my fault.
I realised I had two choices; to continue down the rabbit hole of seIf—pity and sadness, or look at this experience as an opportunity to spread kindness in the world.
It took me out of my comfort zone and made me consider what was really important. The easy thing would have been to recover and go back to my 9-5 but I needed something more than that. I needed to find my place and value again.
I never thought that the kindness cards would create a global social movement. It blows my mind to think that they have been found in Philadelphia, Arizona, the UK and Asia.
My giving myself the opportunity to find new ways to make a difference, I feel empowered and content. I have the opportunity to make a difference and I am changing lives and empowering others in the process.