On Sunday I was very happy to volunteer at a film screening of ‘Finding Kind,’ presented by Womentum in partnership with GirlPower. When I arrived I could feel the positivity in the air, the genuine feeling that everyone who came to the screening wanted to learn something and then use that information to start making a difference. It’s pretty powerful to be involved in an event like this and be able to sense what the room is feeling.
Womentum and GirlPower have similar missions; while focusing on different age groups (Womentum for adults and GirlPower for ‘tweens’), each group promotes positive friendships and support amongst females.
Both groups link really well with the documentary Finding Kind which is focused on ‘girl world’ and why we have this mean girl phenomenon in our world. While the film focuses on school-aged girls, the trend can apply to any female age group. I will be very honest here in saying growing up I experienced both sides of the coin – I remember specifically in Grade 6 I hung out in the large ‘popular’ girls group in our grade and sometimes I was absolutely part of the ‘mean girls.’ I can’t say I ever lead the charge but what is probably even worse is I never stood up and said ‘hey, what we’re doing is wrong’ even though I KNEW deep down it was not right. Then one day, the tables turned on me and I became the target of my so-called ‘friends,’ suddenly I was on the outside looking in. Being in Grade 6, it was quite a traumatic experience having your 10 ‘friends’ all of sudden start ignoring you and telling everyone else ‘don’t talk to her’ – this was not an easy time in my life. I know how awful I felt for a long time and I cannot even begin to fathom the degree to which these similar bullying situations happen nowadays – with technology and media influences, it can’t be easy to grow up in ‘girl world’ today.
My experiences when I was young allowed me to learn the value of being kind to people and how to value people’s differences rather than put people down for their differences – they make us who we are. In the end, it was because of another girl’s kindness that I was able to find a few true friends after this experience. I always think back to my Grade 6 year experience and try to catch myself when I’m in situations of gossip, situations where I could be contributing to a ‘mean girls’ group or even becoming a ‘mean girl’ again for a mere moment. Seeing ‘Finding Kind’ on Sunday completely reiterated this for me on an even greater level. Now that I’m an adult I still see the same kinds of things happening between women and have definitely experienced being the target just like I was in Grade 6 – sometimes I think ‘why can’t we all just get along?’ or ‘why can’t we just play nice?’ The line from the movie that made the largest impact on me was ‘it doesn’t cost anything to be kind’ – what a succinct way of summarizing the greater goal. For me, this very simple message I hope can guide me in current and future female relationships.
I would highly recommend checking out the website for the ‘Kind Campaign’ – the girls who made the documentary have this national campaign in the US and the website has some great resources along with information on how you can hold your own screening: http://www.kindcampaign.com/documentary/
In KINDness & Until next time…