Care to be kind? It's an identity of greater value

Collaborators at the launch of the Singapore Kindness Movement's Be Greater campaign yesterday included (from left) singers Jack and Rai, emcee Royce Lee, magician Ning Cai, SKM general secretary William Wan, and Starbucks Singapore general manager P
Collaborators at the launch of the Singapore Kindness Movement's Be Greater campaign yesterday included (from left) singers Jack and Rai, emcee Royce Lee, magician Ning Cai, SKM general secretary William Wan, and Starbucks Singapore general manager Patrick Kwok. SKM hand sanitisers with the National Day Parade logo are part of the movement's outreach efforts this year.ST PHOTOS: ALPHONSUS CHERN, DAVID TAY
Collaborators at the launch of the Singapore Kindness Movement's Be Greater campaign yesterday included (from left) singers Jack and Rai, emcee Royce Lee, magician Ning Cai, SKM general secretary William Wan, and Starbucks Singapore general manager P
Collaborators at the launch of the Singapore Kindness Movement's Be Greater campaign yesterday included singers Jack and Rai, emcee Royce Lee, magician Ning Cai, SKM general secretary William Wan, and Starbucks Singapore general manager Patrick Kwok. SKM hand sanitisers (above) with the National Day Parade logo are part of the movement's outreach efforts this year.ST PHOTOS: ALPHONSUS CHERN, DAVID TAY

The Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM) yesterday launched a campaign challenging Singaporeans to go beyond random acts of kindness.

Dr William Wan, general secretary of SKM, said kindness should be an inherent part of a person.

"Doing an act of kindness, big or small, will change you from the inside," he told The Straits Times.

The Be Greater campaign aims to redefine kindness as a nationwide identity and value.

"At the end of the day, it will have a lasting impact... you have made a difference to other people's lives and also feel good about yourself," said Dr Wan, who co-founded Prison Fellowship Singapore 45 years ago.

The video for the campaign, which will hit the television and cinema screens throughout the month, was directed by award-winning local film-maker Kirsten Tan.

It depicts the real-life stories of lawyer Amanda Chong, who co-founded a reading programme for underprivileged children, and MMA fighter Bruce Loh, who places sportsmanship above winning.

Said Ms Tan in a pre-recorded video: "In this (video), we draw attention to all the different small, tiny little acts that often go unnoticed. But these acts are nonetheless wonderful and great acts because they happen in service for a larger humanity."

As part of the campaign, SKM also engaged influencers such as musicians Jack & Rai, former magician Ning Cai and actor Adrian Pang, to have their own quotes about kindness printed on T-shirts, and to wear them in social media posts.

Ms Ning Cai, 35, said: "People can start by being mindful in their speech to others.

"Words can break people down and also empower them."

Ms Rachel Chua, 20, a polytechnic student who does volunteer work, said the campaign could inspire others to get involved.

She said: "As a volunteer who tutors underprivileged children, I know the impact of my work lasts throughout their education and more.

"It's important for people to know that giving up a few hours of their time each week could really make a difference to someone's life."

Starbucks Singapore will turn its Raffles City outlet into a Kindness Cafe throughout August.

The cafe will be decorated with kindness quotes and reminders.

Considerate customers who display acts of kindness will be identified by the staff and rewarded with exclusive campaign memorabilia designed by SKM and Starbucks.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 04, 2018, with the headline 'Care to be kind? It's an identity of greater value'. Print Edition | Subscribe