Kindness Expert Launches New Platform with the Goal of Creating Safer Communities
#DaretobeKind a Global Movement has launched its online platform, which is just one in a series of initiatives designed by Gabriella van Rij, kindness expert and notable author, with the overarching purpose of creating safer communities and changing the conversations around today’s social issues.
The movement has gained momentum since its beginnings in 2010. The founder articulated what would become the #DaretobeKind movement while writing her autobiography With All My Might, which recounted her story as one of the first cross-cultural adoptions during a time when such things were unheard of. Her struggles to find belonging shaped her character, purpose, and is the reason for her passionate desire to create a culture of acceptance everywhere.
What sets the #DaretobeKind movement apart from other kindness initiatives is its strong user-oriented platform and its emphasis on sharing user stories as the key to acceptance. “We all have a story,” says van Rij, “and it is only through sharing our stories that we heal ourselves and help others.”
Fittingly, the slogan of the movement, The vision is a SAFER world. The method is KINDNESS. The vehicle is YOU! is one that strikes at the center of the present emotional climate of the US. A tragic start to 2018 gave us devastating stats showing 71 dead or injured in school shootings, according to Education Week’s latest figures. The National School Walkout on March 14 and the March for Our Lives on March 24 both further showcased the disquiet and growing disillusionment over our present reality of unsafe institutions.
Building safer communities is an issue that is now at the forefront of our minds. But where legislation and gun control measures fall short is in addressing the emotions behind these tragic events. What causes tragedies like these to occur?
Gabriella van Rij has a bold opinion: “Imagine being isolated and feeling so alone that you do something desperate to stand out. Because of my life experiences, I can see clearly how this desire drives so many people’s life stories and the extreme lengths people will go to in order to feel accepted.”
The #DaretobeKind platform, she proposes, is one where all can feel accepted. In her words: “This platform is a safe space where we un-silence ourselves by sharing the good, the bad, the ugly. Because it is through this sharing of stories we become aware: (a) we are not alone (b) we are capable and © we are the solution.”
Additionally, the #DaretobeKind movement challenges users to take action. Their mission statement goes on to clarify, “We believe one person’s purposeful act of Kindness within a two-mile radius can launch positive and exceptional outcomes within governments, industries, justice systems, and throughout every sector of society. By providing a platform for sharing Kindness ideas and inspirational readers’ stories, our aim is to shift everyone into becoming Kindness Instigators. Every inspiring story that showcases the good in humanity sparks further ideas of how we each can #BEthedifference in our corner of the globe.”
Gabriella van Rij is an established keynote speaker, also frequently invited to speak at school assemblies across North America. A subject-matter expert on anti-bullying measures, she has appeared on Dr. Phil and countless other news channels and print media. “A cause that you are passionate about hides your own adversity,” says van Rij. “From that pain grows your biggest strength, which in turn makes you the cause’s best ally.”
In their ongoing commitment to their goals, the movement will also be producing a webisode series that will tackle present social issues, with the launch date to be announced in mid-April. Other initiatives include an award to recognize individuals and organizations that are taking purposeful action to improve the lives of others.