How to treat people with kindness in 2021
TPWK isn't just what we needed in 2020, you can make it a part of your everyday life. Here are some ways you can make a difference in 2021.
There is a reason that Harry Styles signs a lot of his autographs with a heart and a scrawling ‘TPWK’ (and it isn’t just because he had it trademarked last year). The best way to start making a positive impact on your local community and to feel better about your place in society is to start treating people with kindness every day.
To prepare for the release of Harry’s next single of the song by the same name, start by taking a look at the ideas below and making your own list for 2021.
Donate Time or Money
If you don’t have the spare cash to donate to a local food bank or charity of your choice but you do have a spare Saturday, donating your time can be just as valuable. It doesn’t have to happen every month, but coming in with some fresh energy can make a big difference to a lot of local charities.
Rather than spending another weekend binge-watching a boxset, you could take part in a sponsored run, spend a few hours befriending isolated elderly people on the phone, or arrange to help out at an animal shelter. You could get some friends together to pack up boxes for anyone facing period poverty and make it a social thing.
Yes, you’ll probably be more tired than you would’ve been otherwise, and it might take a bit of organisation to get started, but you’ll probably get a bucketload of endorphins for doing something good and feeling like you’ve made an impact.
Support your Friends’ Art or Small Business
This one should be an obvious one. Starting your own business is hard work and it can take a lot of traction to get it off the ground. Similarly, working in any artistic field means that so much of your time is spent working on projects terrified that nobody will like it when it’s finished. If your friend has an art show that you wouldn’t normally go to, they are being featured in an article, or if they’ve been published in a new magazine, support them! Share their work, let them know they’ve done a good job and help introduce their work to new audiences. These are actions that don’t cost anything but are very appreciated and who knows if they achieve massive success maybe you’ll be remembered for being one of their biggest supporters from the beginning.
Advocate for Others
Last year gave us a lot of time to think about ourselves and our place in society. Although we are all born equal, we aren’t all treated equally. Some people can’t advocate for themselves and it’s our social responsibility to advocate for those who can’t. Other people can advocate for themselves and in that case it’s our social responsibility to amplify those voices. Advocacy can feel scary when you are starting out but soon it’ll become second nature and you’ll feel comfortable contacting your local government representative asking them for accountability, you’ll be signing petitions often, and you’ll be calling out family and friends to challenge problematic opinions.
Educate Yourself on Environmental Impact
The fact we are living on the only habitable planet in our solar system is pretty wild. We should be doing whatever we can to protect it. Microplastics are becoming more of a problem each year and many of us don’t really know the day-to-day impact of our lives as big business and corporations hide the reality of the situation. We’ve gotten better at being extra keen to recycle, trying to reduce our consumption of fast fashion, and avoiding single-use plastics but there is still so much we can learn about our world. The more we understand about Earth, its endangered animals and rare flora and fauna the more likely we are to want to protect it. Try a new podcast or watch a documentary that will introduce you to landscapes and habitats you’ve never seen in person and start building a list of how you can reduce your environmental impact.
Be Kind To Yourself
This one is so easy to forget and so important. Last year was tough and we’ve expected more from ourselves than ever before. Being kind to yourself can be really simple things like letting yourself relax with a face mask listening to music. It can be finally buying that tarot deck you’ve been looking at for the past year. It can be saying that you’ll have a weekend off from studying or working and spending it doing exactly what you want to do. It can be finally finding a therapist and deciding to work on yourself for the next year. It can be cutting your hair short. It can be deciding to exclusively wear Harry Styles hoodies for the next year. The opportunities are endless and are just waiting for you.
Not every action we take is going to feel like it’s changing the world around us, but we are still making a difference, and that difference is so important. If you lead by example, you’ll find that people are more likely to reach out to you and return the favour. Let us know in the comments below, or tweet us @UnitedbyPop how you plan to Treat People with Kindness in 2021.