In Mental Health Awareness Week let’s all “Be More Tom”

This week, which is Mental Health Awareness Week, is also the week in which Colonel Tom Moore was fittingly awarded a knighthood. He posted on Twitter his thanks and said he “will remain at your service”.

The response was overwhelmingly positive with many commenting on how his actions had inspired them, or made them feel happy, and that what he had done was not just for the NHS but also for the nation.

The theme of mental health awareness week is “kindness” and Sir Tom’s actions, but perhaps most importantly, his attitude, should remind us that kindness is not just an act for an individual but can also inspire others. A few random thoughts…

  • What started as an act of kindness in raising money for the NHS has become an inspiration for the nation and has made us all feel good about ourselves
  • Acts of kindness do not have to be grand gestures – although Sir Tom has raised millions and has become a media star, his essential act is a simple one – walking laps of his garden
  • His attitude is one of service – to the NHS and the wider nation. Perhaps this pandemic will encourage us all to be less entitlement based and ask ourselves the question – how can I serve?
  • Although he apparently enjoys (and deserves) the limelight he speaks and presents himself with humility. He would have every right to be boastful or arrogant but isn’t. He doesn’t seem to be continuing his journey for himself but for others
  • He is relentlessly positive and that positivity has paid untold dividends for us all. At a time when it is easy to be negative and when many are justified in being down we need to remind ourselves that there will be an end to it all and that it will be all right in the end
  • Smiling – on Twitter a number of people commented how he had made them smile. This is the power of kindness. We can all make people smile by our actions – from those closest to us random strangers
  • Overall, it is Sir Tom’s attitude to life which is so uplifting.

So, let’s all think about how we can “Be More Tom”. The world will benefit from it.

We can do simple acts such as reaching out to someone who may be feeling isolated or lonely; we could help out at home; or we could tell someone we are proud of them. Simple acts with big results for others and for yourself.

Kindness is not just for Mental Health Awareness Week. As we start to emerge from the depths of the pandemic let’s hope that acts of kindness, thinking of others and how we can all serve our world and those within it become our guiding principles. Not only will this be a better place to live but we will all feel better for it too.

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