Friday Challenge: Be KIND!

When we first heard about Kind Campaign, our hearts literally melted.  Kind Campaign is an internationally recognized movement, documentary and school program based upon the powerful belief in kindness that brings awareness and healing to the negative and lasting effects of girl-against-girl “crime.”

Now most of us probably laughed at Lindsey Lohan and Rachel McAdams in Mean Girls, but actually being a mean girl is not funny at all.  It’s interesting that us gals are so hard on each other, yet we cut our men such slack.  Kind Campaign cofounders Lauren Paul and Molly Thompson were KIND (pun intended) enough to answer a couple of questions for us about their pursuit to end girl-on-girl bullying.

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The Sports Brat: What is your favorite part of teaching girls to be nicer to each other?

Lauren Paul: I think my favorite part of spreading the Kind Campaign message is having the opportunity to see the change that is created through our work.  Every assembly we do inspires girls to be more kind to others and to themselves and just to have a small part in someone’s growth in that way is such a privilege and an honor. Through our work, we ask the girls to participate in various action steps, two of which are called the kind apology and the kind card.  With the kind apology we watch girls take ownership of their actions and make amends.  Girls hand each other personal apologies and mend conflicts that have been going on for years.  With the kind cards, we watch girls share positive affirmations towards each other.  Seeing how uplifted the girls are when they receive these kind cards is such a special experience.  It’s incredible how empowered girls feel when they realize how easy it can be to simply BE KIND.  To be the ones who are teaching this lesson is humbling.

TSB: What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had in trying to grow and spread Kind Campaign?

Molly Thompson: We started the non-profit when we were seniors at Pepperdine, so everything has been grassroots – from spreading our message to fundraising.  I would say that has been our greatest challenge: the struggles that come with being a start up and the lack of funding to fuel the different initiatives and ideas.  Every year we were brainstorming new ways to keep Kind Campaign afloat, but recently a large fundraising event changed all of that and we are now able to think outside of the box again.  But to be honest, I think our biggest challenge also was one of our greatest assets.  The grassroots nature of our programs is a huge part of why girls relate to us the way that they do.  It’s also one of our favorite messages to share: if you are passionate about something, you should go after your dreams and accomplish your goals.  There will be obstacles that stand in your way, but as long as you don’t let them stop you, you really can change the world with your friends.

TSB: What are the different ways girls can get involved?  How can girls come to Kind Campaign for help? How can girls come to Kind to help?

Lauren Paul: There are lots of ways to get involved with Kind Campaign! First and foremost, you can go to www.findingkind.com to book a screening or assembly so that your school or community can experience a Kind Campaign event firsthand. You can also start a Kind Club in your school! The Kind Clubs are a great way for girls to come together and work through important life chapters while bettering their own community.  We have also created a strong and supportive online community through our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts (@kindcampaign).  Those are great places for girls to become a part of the Kind Campaign family.  Our website www.kindcampaign.com has several viral activities and educational tools where girls can seek help and support while being able to use their voice and share their story.  Of course, the most immediate and tangible thing you can do to be a part of Kind Campaign is simply to BE KIND and to apply our message to your daily life as much as possible 🙂

TSB: Fan fighting/heckling/bullying has become a growing problem in professional sports, what advice do you have for our readers to help stay strong and be kind even at a tough and competitive sports event?

Molly Thompson: No matter what environment you are in – whether it’s a heated debate in the courtroom or a feisty conversation at the stadium, there’s a difference between friendly conflict and wishing ill will towards someone.  I think that’s where people cross the line.  It’s when they let their emotions about something, in this instance, a sport, team or player, take over every instinct in their body to the point where they forget that they are communicating with another human.  They start treating the people in that situation as if their existence on this planet doesn’t matter and lose sight of the fact that the issue at hand, that they’re arguing or heckling about, is not a life or death situation.  The best advice if someone found himself or herself in a situation where things could get out of hand, is to take a step back and put things into perspective.  It’s one thing to banter back and forth about a game or a play, but it’s quite another to degrade and tear apart a person’s character or worth.

A big thanks to Lauren and Molly for teaching us about Kind Campaign!  Today we challenge you to be KIND and to please check out Kind Campaign!  There are plenty of ways to get involved.  I just placed my order for a Kind tee, check them out, they’re adorable!

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