Kindness Confetti – Kuwait

There is honestly something magical about being kind. The energy that one feels doing any pleasing act is inexplicable. Being a part of the Goodwill Tribe Kuwait, our motto is always to formulate events that inspire the idea of being kind, why is it life changing and how it builds human connection. But often, we are caught in this question of whether we are doing it genuinely from our hearts or just for the sake of organising an event.

We then realised that we needed to tutor ourselves to being practical with what we do in reality. It is such challenges and experiences that has inspired the Goodwill Tribe Chapter to be incepted in Kuwait and it has only brought immense joy in our lives.

A friend of our tribe said of course at first it seems not too genuine, pretending to be nice at events like these and then we go back to the real world and we are still arrogant, but he himself felt some sort of of ease and mindfulness at “Kindness Confetti” held in Kuwait on 25th June, 2017 and in the end said thank you. 🙂

‘Every act of kindness is like consuming grace and compassion pills’ – Melissa Azavedo

We gathered at Costa Coffee where we for the first hour, prepared mini cards for strangers reminding them that they are awesome or to keep smiling, or just anything positive. For the next half hour we split into pairs and went around giving the cards to random individuals. Our participants were initially a little shy and just wanted to give in their cards and complete their tasks and therefore gave the cards saying “Hey I made this for you” (smiled) and dispersed. Initially our recipients were confused and didn’t really understand what was happening, but as they read the content in the cards, a smile just grew on their face. It was these sweet smiles that motivated our participants to take time and do more good and spread love around.

We then gathered back to the café and shared “Thank you” cards for the service team of the cafe we were at and also to some others around the premises. In our last half hour we just enjoyed our coffee, chocolates and muffins and shared our experiences about the whole journey of the event.

One story that stood out was when one of our friends was giving the card to somebody and then a security guard walks to them and said “What is this?” and his colleague took the card read it and said “Oh it is ok, its’ safe” which brought to our discourse that kindness is SAFE, it does no harm, its innocent, it is non- violent and it is spiritual in nature.

Our kind voyage taught us that kindness begins within ourselves and it is then we are able to go out into the whole world and share it. Heading back to the café after we gave our cards was to understand that sometimes it is so hard to be kind and emphatic in some circumstances but there is still some compassion and love left within ourselves that we have the capability to still be calm even when the world’s problems are crashing on us. It portrayed the understanding that we still got sufficient amount of goodness equivalent to the space smaller than the world (which was the café in our instance) and to never give up spreading joy.

Well… it all comes back to ourselves and it all depends on us to rejuvenate ourselves with the vibe of kind-heartedness and positivity so as to be at peace with ourselves. Life is too short for any negativity.

Words cannot describe the transformation of every individual at our recent event. And therefore we invite you to try simple acts of kindness in your routine whether it be to smile at a stranger or probably tip a little extra to a waiter at your favourite restaurant, to believe in kindness and its influence.
Our Kindness Party in this desert isn’t over, it has just begun. Spread the love and bliss wherever you are.

Stay Humble. Be Kind.

 

Multiple forms of Wealth

Here we are 3 and a half years since The Goodwill Tribe first started, and looking back, we had no idea we’d get this far. All we wanted to do was find a way to pump more love, kindness and connection into our world. We were often told that in order to stick around or scale we’d need financial resources. To keep it simple, we said to ourselves that we’d ask ourselves that question the day the need arises. Perhaps it has now, but, we’d like to share with you what we’ve discovered through our journey and the multiple powerful forms of wealth we have come to acknowledge.

The wealth of shared dreams
Everything started when Sonia reached out to Chandni with her big and beautiful dreams to spread kindness. Chandni sat back and listened amazed at how they were exactly aligned with their dreams. In the years to follow, their friends in other cities who also shared the dream started to align with us, bringing strength and scale to our cause. And then the community started to grow. We are now a team of about 35 people held together by the undeniable force of our shared dream.

The wealth of inspiration
Everything begins with a spark of inspiration. It’s never easy to pin point the exact moment, but it happened somewhere, because of someone, through something. It created that feeling that we all know so well, when the spirit is uplifted, the heart sings and the mind believes it can achieve anything. We found inspiration in the humble work of other people like Nipun Mehta, founder of Service Space, Sheetal Sanghvi, founder of The Urban Ashram, Hannah Brecher, the heart behind More Love Letters, Nivendra Uduman who threw a love letter writing party when we were in University and then went on to start Letter Earthlings, and so many other people. We’ve been inspired by all the content on kindness that is shared through the internet. We’ve been inspired by the million little moments of love and compassion we’ve witnessed in the world around us. And the list goes on, we feel so abundant in inspiration.

The wealth of time
Everyone on the team spends between 8 to 16 hours a month working on The Goodwill Tribe projects. They’ve chosen to be generous with their time and contribute it towards working for humanity. Everyone who comes for an event is taking time out of their lives because they believe in a better world. They’re taking time to deepen their inherent goodness, tap into their kindness capacity and connect with strangers. We appreciate the wealth of time that has been contributed to shape and sustain The Goodwill Tribe.

The wealth of ideas
We believe that reality is what you make it. And we’ve been exposed to so many amazing ideas of what our world could be. Our events have all been designed around rich ideas that have evolved in people’s minds. Each person in the tribe has astounded us with their creative ideas to inspire kindness and connection.

The wealth of community
At a Letter Earthlings event, we invite people to bring stationary from their own homes and they do! Sometimes we need help prepping for an event and reach out to the community. People respond, they turn up to help out. When we’re hosting an event outdoors it’s not surprising for people to come armed with a flask of tea and biscuits to share. We’re truly experiencing the power of community. This is what our world once was like, with people living together in close knit groups, where everyone took care of each other. We are aware of the wealth of community and are glad to watch it show its face, it is always guiding and supporting us with our intention and in our actions.

The wealth of technology
Our work has been possible only through the gift of technology. It is through the power of the Internet that members from 12 different Goodwill Tribe chapters around the world have come together on this shared mission. Many chapters have come into being because of a chance stumbling upon our website. Most of us have not met each other, yet are strongly connected through technology that brings us closer. We’ve got a Whatsapp group that is our channel for daily updates and stories. We use Skype to run our operations and on-board new chapters in any part of the world. We gather together on a monthly call on Zoom (a video conferencing software) to share stories, learning’s and inspiration. We bank on our Website and our Facebook page to get the word out about all of our events. Our blog is our voice to the world, it’s where we share the amazing moments we’ve experienced through our experiments with kindness and regular Skype calls and email ensures we are running operationally smooth. Beyond this, we believe that all these inspiring digital instances of kindness and compassion trigger many subtle and invisible ripples of goodness in the world!

It is only recently that we became aware of the multiple forms of wealth we have been tapping into all along, but it’s the thread that holds this blanket of compassion together. It’s a powerful thought to know that all of us are abundant in so many ways beyond financial resources. We feel full with all that we do every day.

We ask you to take a look at your life, and all the little pieces that make it what it is. Appreciate the wealth, you are abundant 🙂

 

Kindness in Culture – India

There is an increasing amount of research revealing that human beings are inherently kind and compassionate. And there are many examples of cultures and communities that live in alignment with these values. Arunesh our volunteer blogger is exploring this theme to uncover inspiring stories of ‘kindness in culture’, from around the world.

Ever heard about a mega-kitchen which serves thousands of people day in and day out, that too for free? This service is truly out of the love for mankind and known as ‘langar’ or ‘Guru ka langar’, which basically means a common kitchen at a Gurudwara, where food is served to all the visitors at absolutely no cost.

It is believed to be adopted by the first Sikh guru, Sant Guru Nanak and has been followed since then within the Sikh community. Each and every day, a number of pilgrims are fed for those who seek it. No person is turned down who knock upon their doors. The sole purpose behind this practice is to uphold the principle of equality amongst all people regardless of their background or social status. This a revolutionary concept all together in the caste-based society of 16th century India where Sikhism began. Additionally, the tradition of langar carries forward the ethics of sharing, community and oneness of all humankind.

So let us venture deep into this culture of langar, something which has been creating a lot of difference in the lives of people. What the Sikh people do is that they prepare delicious food, high in quality and full of nutrients. This meal usually consists of daal (lentils), rice, roti, a vegetable and kheer (sweet dish). All of this is prepared in massive utensils for the masses and curated by one or more Sikh families every week. It is prepared with much love, not to forget the divinity involved in it. Being served twice within a day, the process is quite methodical and very disciplined​. The people are made to sit in straight rows and need to cover their heads while eating as a mark of respect for the food. Once the lot has consumed their part of langar, another batch of citizens pour in for the next round of serving.

In India, the Golden Temple at Amritsar is considered to be one of the most sacred gurudwaras for the Sikhs. The footfall at the langar of this temple is about 50,000 each day which doubles up to 100,000 during the festive season. Just imagine the magnitude at which the preparations are done, thus the kitchens work almost 20 hours a day. To cater this huge demand a number of volunteers known as ‘sewadars’, come together and take part in providing service to fellow human beings.

The sheer scale of operations, including the number of devoted volunteers makes it the greatest example of participation of Sikhs in the service of humanity. What noble act will you witness other than this which is so selfless and pure. Every man and woman is served a holy meal without being turned away. This also exhibits their welcoming nature along with a strong desire to make a significant impact in the lives of people. You will see the same enthusiasm and generosity across all the gurudwaras in the world with the only aim of spreading kindness and assuring equality among people from all walks of life. It is really heartening (and the best examples to look forward to) example of the culture of kindness. More power to them!

Letter Earthlings Dubai

We hosted a beautiful Letter Earthlings event in Dubai last weekend where 19 of us came together to write 70 letters that will soon reach 5 people who live across the world!

The event was at XVA art hotel and café, and their beautiful, calming space really set the tone for our gathering. Anita and her two lovely sons Aryan and Siddharth, 11 and 14 years of age, were the first to arrive, very promptly, 20 minutes before we were to start. Karen found out about the event from a friend of hers travelling into Dubai, only an hour and a half before it started, but still turned up with a bunch of stamps, stars and pretty little things to add love to the letters. Satish had been lost, trying to find his way through the winding alleys that lead to the café, until he stumbled upon ever smiling Joanne who was also on her way to the event. It feels like there were many serendipitous moments that brought people together in the circle.

We were blown away by the sincerity with which people were writing. They were truly there to step up their feeling of empathy for those they were writing to and expressed this so well in their beautifully crafted and designed letters. Just watching this made us smile so much 🙂

We closed with a circle of sharing where everyone shared one recent story of connection with a stranger. Mavi shared about a recent taxi ride in Amsterdam that had left her in tears because of how deeply she connected to the driver. They had this almost ‘emergency break moment’, when they discovered that both of them were vegan! Karen shared about her experience writing the letters and about how deeply she connected to one of the requests. Varunya elevated the energy (as always) with her powerful story of connection to a family at a café in Dubai. Turned out that the man she was talking to was a new hire to the company she works for and she’d just emailed an hour before! She gave his entire family heart pins and was ecstatic when he showed up for his first day of work wearing his heart (on his sleeve).  Satish laid his heart open with his deep shares about his deep empathy and love for people. He’d recently helped an old couple get to the hospital easily, and was embraced with so much love for doing so. Joanne was moved by two new friends she made on her travels to Casablanca, who were just so curious to get to know her better and understand her culture. Constantina shared an amazing experience from her travels in Iran, where she’d met a local family on the bus and ended up staying with them at their home for a night, creating moments of human connection that will stay in her heart. Toprak shared about her experience during the event and how she’d found that she was able to deeply empathise with everyone she was writing to. Anita shared a powerful story of communication that went beyond language. She’d worked in the department of mental health at a hospital and a young woman who’d been in and out over 4 years, finally shared what she was going through in a language Anita barely understood. Anita’s youngest son Aryan beautifully reflected on the event, “Being here is my moment of connecting with strangers. It’s nice to be with all of you, write, laugh and have a good time. My heart feels good.” Troy perhaps the sincerest writer shared that he hoped the letters he wrote would touch the hearts of the people who received them and make some kind of difference to their day! Ravi, a frequent volunteer shared how he loved showing up at these events to connect with people. Sonia shared a story of connecting deeply with a taxi driver in Dubai, so much so that he refused to take a payment from her when she arrived at her destination. Siddharth beautifully said, “I see what we are doing here as a way of bringing a beacon of light and hope into the lives of people.” Shweta wrapped it up with a very kind story of how a colleague had gone a long way to transform a rough day by surprising with her favourite banana bread.

Nikki who couldn’t stay till the end sent us a note sharing, “when I was walking back home I realised how complete and selfless I felt. Those were an amazing 45 minutes of my life after a very long time. Doing an anonymous activity made sure that not even my unconscious ego was served at all.” Karl amazed us with his sketch of the London skyline in a mindfully crafted letter to a recipient in London. Aimy and Pooja as always brought their genuine hearts and desire to be kind to the circle.

Overall it was a little bit of magic and a lot of kindness. We are grateful! 🙂

Letter Earthlings is one of our most popular projects. We receive letter requests from individuals through our google form; for their friends, family, colleagues or maybe even themselves. These requests maybe for someone going through a tough or just for someone who needs to reminded of their awesomeness. And then we get together at community events to write letters of love, encouragement and support to these strangers all around the world. The letters are beautifully packaged and posted anonymously to the recipients. And one fine day the recipient receives this bundle of handwritten letters filled with love and compassion from different parts of the world 🙂

 

Kindness Retreat with Nipun Mehta

Nipun Mehta is the founder of Service Space, an incubator for generosity projects. He lives a radically generous life dedicated completely to service. Service Space is a volunteer driven ecosystem that leverages technology to encourage everyday people around the world to do small acts of service. Their projects range from a daily positive news service, to an acts-of-kindness portal, to a gift-economy restaurant. Their work has been the inspiration behind many ‘labour-of-love’ projects around the world, including The Goodwill Tribe.

We were so extremely happy to have him here in Dubai with us and organized a Kindness Retreat, facilitated by him, for the community. 22 people, most of them strangers, and a cute little grey cat gathered together with the intention of deepening their capacity for kindness, in the serene space at House of Om.

We were amazed by the intentions that brought everyone together and are so grateful for what emerged. Vijayalakshmi Aunty was honouring her decision to do more ‘right now’ and be a kinder version of herself. Neelam Aunty came all the way from Ras Al Khaimah (a journey she repeated for all 3 days of Nipun’s visit to Dubai). Elena who has just moved to Dubai from Hong Kong barely knew anything about the retreat but turned up anyways because her heart had guided her to it. Douma and Natalie stepped out of their comfort zones and reached out to each other to travel together all the way from Abu Dhabi just for the retreat. Yoga and his gentle wife Dona are service heroes who host yoga classes as a gift to the community every weekend. Their curiosity drew them to the retreat. Vahid and Meet are both just visiting Dubai and still chose to spend an evening pushing the edges of their kindness comfort zones. Varunya was soooo excited and her energy filled the room as she shared her joy at being a part of the retreat. Elham with her glowing persona shared a moving story of a woman in India who has dedicated her life to service. This woman is really working at the edges of what is comfortable and changing lives while she’s at it and Elham was moved to dig a little deeper into herself. Natasha, an inspiring warrior of love, elevated our circle with a beautiful opening meditation and spread smiles with stories of her amazing 3-year old daughter (and little warrior of love), Aria. Pranav inspired us with his commitment to really listen, be open and push all the edges as he designs his path for his life. We were so grateful for the presence of Sandhya and Prakash who have been instrumental in introducing Service Space to the community through the first Awakin Circles in Dubai. Nazil lit up the space with his whole hearted laughter and story of kindness with the cab driver. Vikita, always so radiant, added so much to the circle with her gift of being able to beautifully articulate her thoughts. Reema’s genuine and simple stories of kindness reminded us of how natural kindness is to us human beings. Jubi, who is like sunshine, revealed her pure and authentic self through her beautiful shares. Kristin is inspiringly committed to pushing at all her edges and stepping completely out of her comfort zone. She closed our first circle of sharing perfectly by extracting and expressing the common themes that had emerged.

Nipun then had our attention captured with his stories of radical generosity by friends from around the world. What did it mean to be vulnerable in generosity? What is our edge of kindness? How can we push out of our kindness comfort zones? These are a few of the questions that came up. We then were divided into smaller groups, to connect deeply with each other and dive into these questions together. Most groups stepped out into the garden and it was an amazing sight to watch all of these people sharing straight from their heart.

We then came back to the circle and people from each group shared what had come up. And wow! such powerful and priceless reflections. Can we define our own edge of generosity or do we need to factor in others like our family, friends, community? How can we step up the collective kindness in a place? How can we be like nature, so kind and compassionate without any thought? How can we hold space for others to be themselves? How can we be generous even when it makes us feel very vulnerable? It was really amazing to witness the wisdom that can arise from a collective circle of sharing.

Nipun Bhaiya then closed with a powerful story of his dear friend Pancho that left many of us close to tears. We then wrapped each other in a big group hug and closed with the inspiring video ‘Being Kind’ by generosity superhero Nimo Patel. We continued to share beautiful conversation over dinner and how we wished we didn’t have to leave!
It was amazing to be among a community of people who are so deeply committed to serving others, and lighting up this world with the goodness of their hearts.

 

48 hours of magic – Pune

This month is very special for The Goodwill Tribe – Pune chapter as we welcomed two awesome people, Tejal and Pushkar to the tribe and hosted our first outdoor event which was a huge success. After a lot of heartstorming, we finalized the venue, our own ARAI tekdi, Pune(tekdi means a hill in Marathi). ARAI tekdi is a wonderland; visited daily by hundreds of fitness freak souls of all age groups. We already knew that magic was going to happen!

Going live on Facebook while some prep was going on, was super fun! We were at the highest excitement level possible! Four of us headed towards the tekdi as the clock ticked five. Tekdi never disappoints; it’s full of good vibes.

Just as we began to setup it felt like the wind picked up pace significantly. It was fun finding creative hacks to cope with the wind while setting up. Curiosity was piqued and people started to as what we were doing. Any guess what we were doing? 😉

It was a Random Acts of Kindness experiment which evolved around a question – what makes you happy? We served a very popular tangy yet sweet and spicy Indian snack – Bhel and some refreshing lemon sherbet as a gift. Needless to say people were astonished when they realised that the snacks were being offered as a gift with no intention but to spread joy. We held up a board that read ‘Love + Conversations = Bhel connection’ and it did the trick. People were drawn in, curious to understand what we were doing and why. The conversations that emerged were beautiful, everyone resonated with what we were trying to do and shared overwhelming encouragement. A gentleman Mr. Sanjay Bhave touched by our gestures even invited us to his own restaurant Palavi and offered to gift us dinner; we couldn’t say no.

Eight of us had some heart to heart conversions while having dinner at Palavi. We requested Mr. Bhave to let us pay his generosity forward, which basically meant we covered the bill of a group of youngsters sitting at another table. We left Palavi with a bag full of memories.

It felt like everyone wanted the good vibes to continue and so we decided to meet again the next day. Sheetal bhai and Khushmita didi, who were volunteering with us, kindly invited us to their home, The Urban Ashram. As the name sounds, the place is peaceful, tranquil and abundant in positivity. Sheetal bhai and Khushmita didi welcomed us with their warm smile and huge hugs. We didn’t realize how the time flew writing letters at Letter Earthlings, having some deep conversations, meditating and enjoying homemade food prepared on mud stove. The whole weekend was truly magical for all of us!

The Goodwill Tribe is really a space that lets us be the best versions of ourselves. It is about the human connection we miss in our day to day busy lives. It is a lively example that this world still moves by love!

Parcels, Post and Handwritten Letters.

When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone you love? When was the last time you wrote something that came straight out of that soft place within with no filters?

As I signed up to start the Mumbai Chapter of The Goodwill Tribe in Mumbai, I had one inherent feeling, I want to do more and give back more to life for all the abundance and gifts life gives me everyday! We, Grafleen and I, the organisers of the Bombay event organically picked the Letter Earthlings event to start the Bombay Chapter.
So we were asked, why this dying form of handwritten letters? We said, exactly why.

A handwritten letter apart from the satisfaction of knowing you’re making a close friend’s day with your efforts, science has linked expressive writing better mood, reduced stress and overall well-being. Apart from that writing a letter, putting pen to paper requires unplugging from all the technology you’re bombarded with! We all want to live in in NOW – well, here’s a secret! I discovered that letter-writing, just by sitting to write something special to someone – your thumbs won’t be able to scroll another one of those endless Facebook feeds which refresh by the second, hell you’d also have to put your texting and whatsapp aside to someone who actually will fill your mind space as you put your thoughts to paper! For those few minutes you’re in the NOW and nowhere else. I’m always craving for that ‘extra bandwidth’ and no I’m not referring to a slow Wifi connection. Go figure.

On 18th of March 2017, we kicked off the Letter Earthlings event and the overwhelming response to the event has me wondering – wow, how much love can we spread? The sky is the limit and more.

How did we go about it? We created events on Facebook, EventsHigh, Allevents, Little Black Book wrote about us, Mumbai Mirror also listed our event and we had a large turnout of about 20+ people and most of these were absolute strangers. So, in essence 20+ strangers came together to write letters to more strangers! The icing on the cake was the journo from DNA who turned up to take pictures and bytes, our little attempt will now probably make it to the papers, watch out for us!

Gratitude is such a powerful tool, it opens up the doors to the endless possibilities of the universe and I have to say all of this would be incomplete without Chandni and Sonia, the founders from Dubai – Chandni was there, helping us in the event. Thanks girls – for all the input, advice, ideas and for allowing us to run the event in a decentralised sort of way where we added our Mumbai flavour while retaining the overall feel of The Goodwill Tribe. Also Grafleen, my multi-talented co-organiser who designed artistic posters for the event, connected to DNA and Mumbai Mirror, organised the requests and so much more. We synced so organically while organising the event, it felt like we’d known each other for ages. More power to us girl, this is just the beginning!

Now for all you gifted people who attended, thanks for coming and making this extra special from Ravi who turned up very early and generously gifted us about 20 self-stamped envelopes, Harsh for helping out with some of the organising from space to table seating and then providing a request on short notice, Mann for wearing his Happy Hat, Shweta M, Shweta and Siddhant – the siblings, Prerna, Ujjwal, Tharangini and Anirudh, Ratnesh, Kavya and Harshita – the chirpy collegians, Niki and Shruti, Ashish – the composed writer, Suneet for his valuable feedback, Rashmi for helping us organise the letters with her neat labelling, Parthivi, Proscila, Bhavika for her post on Little Black Book which brought Grafleen and me together, Anubha and Ishita, Tejal and Priyanka – thanks you guys, for making our first event so special! All of your sharing and feedback is very important to us and we promise to keep you hooked. Watch this space for more!

The Goodwill Tribe and Letter Earthlings, thank you for inviting us to participate in a slice of immortality – long after we’re all gone, these letters will remain to be read, appreciated and preserved.

Silent Sound

“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life” – RedAuerbach

This was an evening filled with just music and poetry to help understand and experience a kind of ease after a long week. That was the main aim of the event “Silent Sound” in the making. After its first run on 19th Jan 2017 at the Art Space café-Kuwait, it truly was much more than just music but was something that touched each individual’s heart.

The Goodwill Tribe Kuwait believes in this ideology, that music helps assist us to comprehend who we really are and provide us with inspiration, transformation and a kind heart to deal with situations in a peaceful way.

What is silent about sound right? Well “Silent” could mean the breaks between the counts of the notes being played in a music piece. Without silence music would not be able to execute itself. And “Sound” on the other hand is plainly a feature and the language of music.

As the evening began at the beautiful Art Space café in between the many wall paintings with just a mellow glow and fiery fairy lights, we talked about the emotions and feelings that music disseminate and give us and also about the effect it has as a medication of kindness for everyone to consume. We also discussed about how people select their music of whether it is on the basis of their feelings or based on a kind of mode they would like to be in.

Singers and musicians present at the event sang their originals and shared their journey in writing the piece which also included how they came up with the tune.

The best part of the event was just how everyone joined in as we sang together the many popular songs that gave different vibes, namely Country roads, Happy, Closer, Hallelujah, We don’t talk anymore, The Scientist, and how each and every one opened up their feelings and joined in one voice just jamming and relaxing.

In the end we got everyone to write to themselves or to a friend who they haven’t talked to in a while to practically understand the power of words. This was for the purpose to fathom the experience of lyric writing in its simplistic nature of just like how we empathize or sympathize with a song’s lyrics.

Well it was an evening organized to celebrate the existence of music, its kindness and the tranquilities it shares with us to move on in life. Our journey with kindness through music begins here and we are hoping to welcome many more people to hop into our ride. To, many more such beautiful evenings not only in Kuwait but around the world.

 

Joy of Giving Week – Dubai

Every year in Dubai we celebrate the festive season (our favorite time of the year) with a week full of kindness events and activities. It’s a joyful lead up to Christmas that creates a merry merry mood for all of us in the city!

Our first event was called ‘Music under the stars’ where we got together to share joy through music. It started with a few carols and then went full throttle into a popular Indian game called Antakshari, which is kind of like a ‘sing-off’. It was tons of fun with us going down memory lane with popular old songs, singing our hearts away. Among the group were a few quiet ones, just there to listen and it was so great to watch them join in and sing along too! We were pleasantly surprised by Karoona aunty and Nedkant uncle, yoga teachers from India visiting Dubai, joining us for the evening. Aunty  hosted a laughter yoga session which had us running around in fits of laughter and uncle offered us a yoga class which became our spontaneous second event!

This one was very different from anything we’ve ever hosted before. We gathered in our tracks,  with our yoga mats, under a clear sky at Zabeel park. For an hour we stretched and relaxed, listening to the patient instructions that uncle and aunty delivered. We were collectively amazed by their strength, flexibility and commitment to teach people a practice that improves health and well-being. It was a beautiful hour that ended with a deep feeling of gratitude towards these two amazing people for giving so generously of their time, presence and wisdom. They wrapped each of us in a hug, the kind that really makes you feel loved and we returned to our homes feeling rejuvenated.

Our last event was Letter Earthlings. It was a quiet evening, with just a few of us but the kind where we each enjoyed the silence and the space to write out Christmas cards to our loved ones around the world.

The end of the year has been a beautiful time for all of us across the world. We hope that you have enjoyed it too. Here’s to greeting another amazing year in high spirits!

Our Christmas Wishlist

One thing is certain about us folks, we’re a bunch of big dreamers. It’s 19 of us right now spread across 8 different cities in the world (6 cities with full fledged chapters and 2 cities where chapters are emerging) and we’re all connected through our shared belief that kindness can and is going to transform this world. We are here doing the best we can in our own little ways to inspire kindness and human connection. We dream of a world where this way of being is natural and joy is everywhere and are committed to making this dream a reality. You are an active part of this dream and so here we’d like to share with you some of our wishes this Christmas.

  1.  My wish this Christmas is for the world to have gratitude for the connections they have with family and friends, and focus on committing to and strengthening those connections over the holiday season – Kirsty (London, England)
  2. My wish is for The Goodwill Tribe to make its way into schools in all the locations. It all begins with the little ones – Soumya (Bangalore, India)
  3. My wish is for the whole tribe to get together and meet soon – Sonia (Dubai, UAE)
  4. My wish is to get married to all the tribe members and live happily every after – Nivendra (Colombo, Sri Lanka)
  5. I would love the entire tribe to travel together, witness beauty and spread kindness along the way – Siddharth (Pune, India)
  6. My wish is to have a Goodwill Tribe Cafe in all the cities we have a chapter, with lots of good books, kittens and puppies and amazing coffee – Astha (Jaipur, India)
  7. I wish that everyone in this world is shown a way to get across the troubled waters they may be submerged in – Meryl (Kuwait City, Kuwait)
  8. I wish Santa would give me time & money so that I can experience this beautiful life through travelling all around the world and spread kindness, love and peace through small acts everywhere I go – Khushi (Sydney, Australia)
  9. My wish is to dedicate more of my life to The Goodwill Tribe and light people’s lives up with the magic of love, kindness and human connection – Chandni (Dubai, UAE)