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Kindness Week and our Wellington Values

26 September 2018
[wellington_wistia]msypcx5uz2[/wellington_wistia] Shared words of encouragement and appreciation, mystery muffins and coffees left on desks, motivational letters, success stories and kindness interviews – acts of kindness both large and small, open and secret, played out across the College last week. Kindness is one of our core values, along with responsibility, respect, courage and integrity. For many of our pupils, staff and parents, kindness is the value which they identify most strongly with in our identity line-up. To act without kindness would be to act in a way that would fail to be 'Wellingtonian'.” Eleanor Prescott Principal, Wellington College, Shanghai   Together, these five words make up the ideals we want all Wellingtonians to emulate and carry with them every day. “They are our moral compass, pointing out the desired direction of travel. But our challenge, as a community, is to strive to make the abstract concrete, to ensure that these words are translated into meaningful acts that have a bearing on our daily lives. And the key to this, the key that unlocks all the others, is kindness.” Julian Thomas Master, Wellington College, UK   Being kind means treating others as you would a member of your own family. At Wellington, this sense of belonging to a community, a family, is something that we aim to reinforce every day. Through our House System, our whole community events, our appreciation of all cultures and backgrounds, we want everyone to feel deep down that they are part of a family that will always be there to support them.   Kindness Week is dedicated to this idea of making our values, our abstract nouns, into something more concrete. It’s about carrying out explicit acts of kindness that are inspired by the inclination to show the people around you how much they mean to you. The size and exact nature of the kind act itself doesn’t matter so much; what really matters is that the act is motivated by a real desire to let someone know that they are important to you. An important part of an act of kindness is that it’s instinctive. This doesn’t mean it can’t be planned, or that it can’t be a grand gesture, only that it should feel like a wholly natural, unforced thing to do. If you watch the kindness video series, you’ll see that Wellington’s pupils have that innate understanding of what kindness means and a clear desire to embody it. Even the very youngest recognise kindness in others and instinctively want to replicate it themselves.   Far from being a necessary reminder to be kind, Kindness Week has become a celebration of the fact that kindness is a present and important part of what binds our Wellington community together and a key component to our set of Wellington Values. Courage   Intergrity Kindness   Respect   Responsibility