Kindness: Canterbury's 'hidden' strength

Over the last six years we’ve all faced more than our fair share of challenges. Earthquakes, floods, a few more earthquakes, and now fires.

While each event has tested our ability to bounce back, they’ve also brought some of Canterbury’s greatest attributes to the surface. ‘How can I help?’ is one of the first questions All Right? is asked whenever there’s an event. From baking for volunteers to offering up your spare room to those most affected, Cantabrians are always finding ways to spread some kindness following a scary event.

The great thing about doing something nice for a friend, or a stranger, is that it doesn’t just benefit the receiver. Being kind produces serotonin and oxytocin, two ‘feel good’ chemicals that help you feel happier, calmer, and more energetic.

In short, being kind can make a big difference – to ourselves and those around us. Finding ways to be kind everyday, and not just immediately following disaster, is something we can all do a bit more of. Whether it’s catching up with a friend who needs a pick me up, letting a car into the traffic, or giving someone a compliment, there’s thousands of ways we can share the love a bit more in Ōtautahi.

All Right? is encouraging Cantabrians to complete an online quiz designed to help people discover their top strengths. Last year, five thousand people completed the 15 minute quiz and not surprisingly,  the most common of the 24 strengths to emerge was kindness (closely followed by honesty and humour).

By being kind to ourselves, and to those around us, we’ve been able to support one another through some pretty tough times. Kia kaha Canterbury.