We know what The Kindness Effect (TKE) is, but who is the woman who created it and carries out its purpose?
Meet Kate, a 27 year old social worker, university lecturer, writer, girlboss, and of course feminist and animal lover! Now these are all impressive titles for a 27 year old, but they are just titles and we wanted to know who Kate really is. I asked her some questions and found a common theme, and that is her compassion for this world and all who belong in it, which is really the core of what TKE is all about, compassion! Let take a deeper look…
Questions by Rachel Furolo – Channel 9 News (Sydney) Journalist
How would your family describe you?
Instead of answering this myself, I text my family and asked them how they would describe me. Their answers clearly had a theme and actually made me cry because it’s nice to be reminded that those closest to you really do know who you are.
My Nonna said, “Clever girl, generous, you care for everybody, you care for the animals, you care for the people”.
My mum said, “A spirited, gregarious woman always on a mission, compassionate and loving and empathetic to the needs and suffering of humanity, and very justice driven”
One of my Sisters said, “you feel things more than most people because you choose to care… that’s why you’re a good person, because you give a fuck…. can I swear?”
My partner said, “Modern day Joan of Ark, who carries the weight of the world on her shoulders and wears her heart on her sleeve”
What’s your spirit animal?
Dolphins! Years ago I found this amazing video about dolphins in Laguna, Bazil and how they help the local fisherman. They are very sensitive and intelligent creatures. I have seen them in the ocean many times and I just feel a deep connection to them. I’m a believer in star signs and I’m a Pisces (the fish) so it only makes sense that I love Dolphins. Interestingly, lately I’ve felt a calling to be in water, whether that’s the pool, ocean or just my bathtub at home. It’s really helped me this year when I’ve been feeling flat or unmotivated just to be submerged in water, it has a very therapeutic and calming effect on me.
Where do you feel most at home?
Last year I would have answered this question very differently, with some sobby response about my childhood and the constant change in my life. This year, however I am leaving all past stories where they belong, in the past. Today, home is really wherever I feel comfortable and at peace, that includes my actual home but it also includes certain parks, libraries, little cafes, and most of all in the arms of certain people like my Mum and my partner .
What’s the biggest thing your parents taught you?
Dad taught me to laugh. Mum taught me to love.
What are you most proud of?
Isn’t it odd that this question is the one that stumps me the most. I knew my answer straight away to the other questions, but this one I needed to think about.
My initial reaction was to say I am proud of who I am, as a human being in this world. Then I thought, oh that sounds a little conceited – but now after coming back to this question, I can’t deny the truth. The truth is I am a deeply reflective person, who is able to objectively look at who I am, my strengths and weaknesses and acknowledge them. I don’t live blindly like so many do, without any real reflection of who they are, how they are contributing to the world and the impact they have. I am always thinking and further more taking action, to be a better version of myself every day and have a positive impact on those around me and on this beautiful world.
If you asked me how I do this, I could say I meditate, write often, read many books and am always reflecting, which are all true, but on some deeper level, I just think it’s who I am. It has its downfalls as I tend to over think and that’s why I often need moments of quiet and calmness but all in all, it’s who I am and I am proud of that.
Further more it really helps me to understand people on a deeper level, why people do what they do, say what they say or what they don’t say – and this, with my years of studying psychology and social work really give me a strong basis for when I work with my clients but also for the relationships in my life.
What advice would you give to your 10 year-old self?
I have learnt the hard way and if only my 10 year-old self knew this, I would have saved myself a lot of suffering, and that is… People only meet you as deeply as they have met themselves; don’t take it personally.
It basically means when people are mean or rude or hurt you deeply, it isn’t actually about you. It is a reflection of them, what they are going through, who they are and their own suffering. Those who put you down only do so, because deep down they themselves do not feel good enough; they have to tear others down to lift themselves up.
Tell us about a book that changed your life.
‘My Life on the Road’ by Gloria Steinman – what a storyteller she is, honest and insightful and eye opening! I don’t think I can do this book justice by explaining what it’s about (true story/biography) but I can tell you how it made me feel. Awake with my eyes open for the first time, angry about the world, hopeful that there are good people, positive that change can always occur and motivated to make my mark on the world and contribute in the best way I can.
What inspires you?
Quiet. When it’s quiet I can think, it allows space for me to feel open and creative. But it’s also sometimes the exact opposite, having music on and just dancing by myself is also very inspiring and invigorating. But in general it’s the quiet, peaceful moments in life that I draw the most energy, creativity and inspiration from. I find life so noisy, busy and with always so much to do, that when my mind and body can have moments of silence and calmness, that’s when I feel truly myself; and from authenticity comes inspiration.
If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
There are so many things to change, but I think at the core of it all is self-love (which is what The Kindness Effect is all about). If people are happy on an individual level and practice self-love their whole world changes, and when your world changes on an individual level you affect change around you. Let me leave you with one of my FAVOURITE quotes, about this very thing.
“As a doctor, let me tell you what self-love does: It improves your hearing, your eyesight, lowers your blood pressure, increases pulmonary function, cardiac output, and helps wiring of the musculature. So, if we had a rampant epidemic of self-love then our healthcare costs would go down dramatically. So, this isn’t just some little frou-frou new age notion, oh love yourself honey. This is hardcore science.”- Christiane Northrup
With my favourite book, My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinman.