A rousing sing-along at the Sowing Selfless Seeds event
Photo: Mike Zenari
Kindness, its impact on the world and the benefits for those who show it was the theme of an evening conference at St. George’s International School on Wednesday evening.
Photo: Mike Zenari
The brainchild of Wendi Roberts, achievement and progress leader at the school, the Sowing Selfless Seeds charity event was aimed at “inspiring random acts of kindness.” Four guest speakers addressed a sold-out auditorium of pupils and their parents, who left at the end of the show feeling optimistic and energized.
Roberts had first met Nimish Patel--AKA Nimo--at a school where she was employed in northern England four years ago. When she moved to St. George’s she invited him to the school and, 18 months later, he accepted as part of what was by then a large-scale event. Nimo is a former rapper from Los Angeles who now lives most of the year in Mahatma Gandhis’ former home--he wants to continue Gandhi’s legacy of serving the community. He also travels the world with his Empty Hands Music project. His mission, through song and story and even a full-blown musical, is to show children than random acts of kindness can change lives for the better and, sometimes, even have a much bigger impact than just the single original act. “Plant seeds of kindness without expectation and let it unfold and great things can happen,” he says.
Nimo, who had spent a day at the school engaging with different classes, served as a sort of MC for the evening alongside Roberts. Other speakers included Tessy Antony, the estranged wife of Prince Louis, who used her time to showcase the gratitude and appreciation for her family, her education and her career in the army that helped shape her life. Now living in London, she is passionate about empowering women and founded Professors Without Borders as well as working as a UNAids advocate. But her most moving stories were about her two sons, 12-year old Gabriel and 11-year old Noah, and the acts of kindness and awareness of their environment they have displayed.
British author Natalie Savvides, a friend of Tessy, talked about her new series of children’s books based on characters Henry and Henrietta Heartbeat. The books tackle the subject of bullying among children by featuring storylines that promote inclusion and acceptance under the motto “it’s cool to be kind”.
The final speaker was much-travelled psychologist Angie Robinson, whose childhood in apartheid South Africa marked her life more than she knew. But even though she felt guilty about the suffering of the majority population under that regime, she also saw them display joy and happiness. Sojourns in Bermuda, inner-city Edinburgh, Vietnam and Singapore also showed Robinson that suffering and pressure, as well as joy and happiness, comes in many forms. But the one predictor of happiness and flourishing has been proven to be performing altruistic acts of kindness to others, she explained.
Finishing with a rousing sing-along with Nimo, the audience certainly seemed to have taken many of the messages of the evening to heart.
Delano will feature a full-length interview with Tessy Antony in its November print edition on 15 November.