A small act of kindness = A giant leap for mankind
I know the nation went Gareth Southgate mad for a few weeks and, yes, I appreciate the World Cup is now over, but something about the England manager really stuck with me. I’m not talking about England’s dream of winning the World Cup (sadly that finished a couple of weeks ago), no – I’m talking about the simple act of kindness.
Many of you will know that I pretty much fell in love with Gareth Southgate in a short space of time. I am always in awe of anyone who can endure years of suffering (22 years of it in his case; having missed the penalty which knocked England out of the Euro 96 semi-final), and actually learn from it, to empower them to become something bigger and better than they were before.
In Southgate’s case, it’s his simple acts of kindness. I welled up when he consoled the Colombian team after losing to England in this World Cup’s penalty shoot-outs. When England lost to Croatia in the semi-final, he went around to every single one of the team individually, and gave them a hug and a kiss. I don’t know too much about football, but I can’t remember the last time an England manager gave a hug – I mean a PROPER hug, not just a handshake – and embrace every single individual with such compassion and love.
For me, the inspiration of the England team goes beyond just football – as cheesy as it sounds – it felt like a community. There was no showing off, no scandals in the media about players cheating on their wives, just a group of men who genuinely cared for one another and connected with each other.
Southgate is a true example of a leader who earns trust from a team by practicing what he preaches. An article I read said that when all the England players sat down for dinner, they put their phones away to allow them to engage in conversation and get to know each other a bit more. It’s very hard to hold a grudge against someone when they’ve opened up to you and shown vulnerability.
So next time you want to get your phone out, take a look around where you are. You never know, you might make someone’s day by just asking them how they are – your simple act of kindness.