02 Mar The Kindest day of the year!
Are you ready to be kind? The company Kind is Cool, is gearing up for their third National Be Kind Day on Tuesday March 2nd with a host of celebrities already signed to take part and help spread kindness, stand up to the bullies and raise money to prevent bullying.
From The Commando to Neale Whittaker, Masterchefs Julie Goodwin and Callum Hann to singers Mahalia Barnes and Tones and I (of ‘Dance Monkey’ fame), people from all walks of life are raring at the bit to take part in this day to help make us all feel good.
National Be Kind Day was started in 2019 by Amber Wilkinson, founder of T-shirt company, Kind is Cool. It is a day designed to promote the value of kindness and, in particular, to help stamp out bullying (with $2 from the sale of every t-shirt going to charity, Bully Zero).
The method is simple: people merely need to buy a ‘be kind’ shirt, wear it on 2nd March and, of course, practise kindness towards others on that day… and every day. People are also asked to share photos of themselves and their loved ones in the shirts on social media with the hashtags #standinguptothebullies and #kindiscool.
National Be Kind Day was launched in 2019 with people such as Jimmy Barnes, Kate Cebrano and Bec Judd all taking part. In 2020 National Be Kind Day coincided with the heights of the pandemic and whilst still a success, the impact was perhaps less successful than Amber would have liked. “In 2020 we are gearing up for a momentous year… and we certainly had one.. but not the kind that we would have preferred,” she said.
Ironically, while 2020 was a year when we seemingly all started to be a little kinder to each other, studies show that online bullying actually went up by 40%.  On the other hand, searches for ‘be kind’ more than doubled, whereas searches for “kindness quotes” increased by 6 times, and searches for ‘kindness’ generally increased by 13 times!
“While the world went crazy generally, it also went crazy when it came to kindness,” Amber said. “We googled how to be kind to others so much more, but at the same time we were also being less than kind to others through online bullying, “ she said.
In many cases we also forgot how to be kind to ourselves, with Google searches for “be kind to yourself” actually decreasing by over 50% during 2020 versus 2019. 
“Being kind to yourself is just as important as being kind to others,” Amber said. “The Golden Rule is do unto others as you would like done to yourself but that goes both ways – you also need to treat and speak to yourself as you would treat and speak to others. One of the great things about being kind is that it makes both you and the other person feel great. To paraphrase Shakespeare, kindness is really twice-blessed. It blesses people that give it and those that receive it. And kindness is something that is something that is better than money or power because it comes from the heart,” Amber said.
Amber’s quest to spread kindness is also something that comes straight from the heart. After suffering bullying at a toxic workplace, Amber eventually quit her job and made a couple of kindness t-shirts for her boys, Nash and Chet (who were then 6 and 8) to wear to school – just because she didn’t want her boys to grow up in a world that wasn’t kind and where bullying was accepted. Soon Amber was inundated with requests from others for her to make shirts for them and suddenly she had a fully-fledged business on her hands!
Determined to embrace the ‘kind is cool’ mantra in all that she does, Amber worked to ensure that all her materials were ethically sourced and manufactured, her packaging was 100% biodegradable and that she makes a sizeable donation from the company profits to help stamp out bullying. “So far we have helped fund 35 workshops, educating nearly 3000 kids in 35 schools about what bullying is, the effects that it can have on others and how to spread kindness every day. And while I love making new designs and I love receiving the emails from customers saying how happy they are with their Kind is Cool gear, knowing that I’ve helped impact so many people is one of the things that keeps me going,” Amber said
“Be Kind” t-shirts can be purchased at https://kindiscool.com.au/
$2 from the sale of every shirt goes to anti-bullying charity, Bully Zero