The Southern Stl’atl’imx Health Society serves N’Quatqua, Samahquam, Skatin and Xa’xtsa (Douglas) First Nation. Their mission is to honor the health of The People by working together to deliver holistic community health services.
One path they’re choosing to honour health is to embrace and spread lateral kindness.
Lateral violence is an effect of colonialism. SSHS is embracing lateral kindness, as a response.
12 Easy Ways to Express Kindness
1. Visit an Elder
2. Help a child with their homework
3. Ask someone how they are and then really listen to their answer
4. Hug someone who looks a little down.
5. Send out a kind “for no special reason” email or text to someone you care about
6. Hold open the door for the person behind you
7. Make peace with someone that has hurt you
8. Give your time to a friend or someone who needs
9. Greet others with a smile and a hello
10. Say “I love you” a little more often to your family and friends
11. Pause before you speak, and choose words with positive intention
12. Give people the benefit of the doubt
It’s hard to be kind when you’re not feeling very good about yourself. It’s important to start with self-kindness, and that can mean seeking help, reaching out for counselling or support.
It’s not just a pledge for Stl’atl’imx community members.
Those of us who live alongside these communities need to constantly check our privilege and our assumptions, to question our own actions and thoughts, and ask: am I lifting people up? Am I giving people the benefit of the doubt? Am I meeting people as equals? Am I honouring the work people are doing?
A first step might simply be letting the music and singing of the Stl’atl’imx Friends Lateral Kindness CD, available for download at the site, speak to you.
The Kindness Project is a wonderful resource. Check it out. Take the pledge. Explore how you might practice kindness in your daily life and begin to undo the dark legacy of colonialism.