Sarah Ferguson talks kindness as she joins HELLO!'s first Kindness Summit
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Here, Sarah Ferguson tells HELLO!'s editor in chief Rosie Nixon what kindness means to her as part of our first HELLO! Kindness Summit: "Kindness is remembering, kindness is loyalty, kindness is friendship, and kindness is never forgetting who has been there through thick and thin. Through good days, bad days, rainy days. Kindness can be a superpower.
"Kindness is a language of its own and has no boundaries. The kinder you are, the better your day."
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On a video call with Rosie, Sarah exclusively told how her own family's kindness inspired her charity work over the years.
"As my grandmother always said: 'When you feel bad about yourself, go out and give to somebody else.' I looked at the word kindness and it is not just one word, it's an umbrella loyalty, friendship, smiling, just being a genuinely good person and living with your contribution to the world."
Sarah Ferguson spoke about the importance of being kind
The mother of two, who turned 61 last month, also tells us how important it is to be kind now that we live in such an online world. "Enough is enough – people need to stop using the online platform as a cover.
"Yes, in so many ways, the internet has been a force for good – it enables us to keep in touch with friends and family all across the world, our children can access the total of human knowledge at the touch of a button and anyone can express their views publicly via social media.
Copyright: Jocelyn Bain-Hogg
"But it's time to confront head on the fact that much of the online world, especially social media, has become a sewer. People say things to each other they wouldn't dream of saying in real life. I find it abhorrent that people can waste their time being so cruel to another member of the human race.
"There's a dark side to the internet – very often it isn't a place of kindness. I think we need to look at how easy it is for people to post hatred and bile towards others with no consequences. If you want to post that kind of thing, I think you should be required to put it in your own name. No more anonymous hate-posting."
Sarah believes that we need to take action now and "make kindness the norm, not the exception".
Sarah has revealed she is proud of her daughters kindness and compassion
"I think the only thing we can do is lead by example and the example is when all doubt you, you raise your game. As Mother Teresa's Anyway poem says: 'If people are unfair be fair anyway, if people are unkind be kind anyway.'
Sarah also spoke about the kindness she has instilled in her daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
"I'm very proud that they have grown up with an understanding of the need to always be kind, compassionate, and fair in everything they do."
Both girls have been vocal about causes close to their heart, with Princess Eugenie encouraging young people to show and be proud of their scars from scoliosis , and Beatrice openly talking about her dyslexia.
"They're great examples of really practising what you preach and being kind. They are so empathetic and certainly are the most humble people I know."
Sarah, pictured with her two daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie
Sarah has seen both her daughters walk down the aisle in the past two years, most recently Princess Beatrice, who married Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in a private Windsor ceremony in July. Sarah is also set to become a grandmother for the first time when Princess Eugenie gives birth to her first child in early 2021.
Teaching empathy to the new family member will come naturally to Sarah, who also exclusively reveals the news to HELLO! that she has written a new children's book on kindness.
"A Gift of Kindness is about two young children who are transported back to Victorian times, where they show how kindness to others can transform lives."
Sarah's side of the profits will go to the Kindness Research Foundation (visit kindness.org.uk) to develop the Kindness Quotient (KQ) Test for Kids. This initiative to have kindness taught in school is something she's deeply passionate about, telling us: "KQ is a scientific way to measure and monitor kindness in schools. Only then can we develop constructive and appropriate interventions in the classroom – the earlier the better."
TO MARK HER NEW KINDNESS ROLE JOINS OUR INSPIRING SUMMIT SARAH, DUCHESS OF YORK A Gift of Kindness is out on 12 December, published by Serenity Press (serenitypress. org). Coming soon to amazon.co.uk.