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Mason Chooses Kindness aims to strengthen well-being

November 13, 2020   /   by Whitney Hopler

Today on World Kindness Day, and continuing through the academic year, the  Mason Chooses Kindness initiative  is encouraging Patriots to focus on kind words and compassionate actions. The mission of the initiative is to “create and sustain an infectious kindness revolution at Mason.”

Mason Chooses Kindness defines kindness as intentionally engaging in positive action that is friendly, caring, and compassionate towards self and others. The effort features a variety of activities and resources for students, faculty, staff, and alumni that support meaningful, interactive, and engaging connections with one another.

“This is a great time for the Mason community to engage in intentional acts of kindness,” said Vice President of University Life Rose Pascarell. “As Patriots, we can create a culture of compassion that values and uplifts all students, faculty, and staff.”

“Mason Chooses Kindness is designed to seed a culture of compassion and connection as we continue to uplift well-being at the university. This is an initiative that connects people across differences and encourages acts of advocating for others by standing up to injustices, which are intentional acts of kindness,” said Nance Lucas, Mason Chooses Kindness co-chair and executive director and chief well-being officer of the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. “Our world is yearning for more compassion and kindness.”

Patriots can find plenty of opportunities to experience and spread kindness through MCK events. So far, Mason students and employees have shared encouraging messages online and in chalk drawings on the Fairfax Campus, painted kindness rocks to give to others, and participated in a guided kindness meditation walk. The George Mason statue on the Fairfax Campus was decorated by Mason LIFE students for the kindness initiative.

 “There are so many benefits to giving and receiving kindness. A kind word, a note to a friend/colleague or stepping into a difficult conversation with empathy and kindness are ways we can thrive together,” said Lewis Forrest, initiative co-chair and associate dean of University Life.

Upcoming events include assembling care packages for local first responders, hospital staff, teachers, police, and those without homes, and free play for students in the Corner Pocket (both today, Friday, Nov. 13), as well as a leadership and kindness connection hour next Thursday, Nov. 19, sponsored by Leadership Education and Development (LEAD). More activities will be posted throughout the year.

The initiative will also provide resources such as kindness articles and messages and other resources on its social media channels. The Mason Nation can share stories of giving and receiving kindness with the social media hashtag #MasonChoosesKindness. Patriots can also use these Mason Chooses Kindness e-card templates to send kind messages.

For more information, visit the Mason Chooses Kindness website, https://kindness.gmu.edu/. To get involved, email MCK@gmu.edu.