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Council Column – 6 July 2021 – Councillor Marg Roles

Jul 5, 2021

In Naidoc Week; I would like to acknowledge and convey ‘Yinyamurra’ to the Wiradjuri and Ngunnawal people, Traditional Custodians of the land on which we live and give respect to the elders, past present & emerging.

‘Yinyamurra’ is a Wiradjuri word which has embedded in its meaning ‘respect, honour, politeness, kindness and ‘do slowly’. Yinyamurra is not just a word but a way of living with ourselves, with each other, with the land.

In my last column for this term of Council I want to focus on the concept of kindness – we have heard often during this covid era the plea from our leaders to be ‘kind’ to each other.

The psychology dictionary tells us that kindness: is a benevolent and helpful action intentionally directed towards another person; it is motivated by the desire to help another and not to gain explicit reward or to avoid explicit punishment.

Until recently we didn’t understand how being kind helps us mentally and physically. Performing or witnessing an act of kindness triggers the release of a chemical called oxytocin. This stimulates the area of our brain associated with social connection and trust, which makes us feel good. There is also a cascading effect as kindness from one tends to foster kindness in others.

I have often referred to our Social Capital which is the value of social relationships and networks that complement the economic capital, for economic growth. Social capital grows exponentially with kindness.

Business and government are also acknowledging the value of kindness. The Scottish Government includes kindness in its National Performance Framework: We are a society which treats all our people with kindness…”

For commerce; where kindness is a core value and communicated consistently, employees are happier and more productive with increased financial performance and lower turnover rates.

Kindness is not a weakness. Indicators show that kindness makes us stronger mentally and physically as it improves our wellbeing. With the increased acknowledgement that bullying is a widespread epidemic, we need to reclaim our kindness roots.

To all my fellow residents of Hilltops: show kindness to someone; consider who has been kind to you today; don’t forget to be kind to yourself; live ‘Yinyamurra’.

Councillor Marg Roles