The Art of Never Letting the Kettle Go Empty

I came across a Wiradjuri phrase recently - Yindyamarra Winhanganha.

Yindyamarra Winhanganha is the wisdom of respectfully knowing how to live in a world worth living in.

I love this concept, the notion of being respectful whilst creating a world worth living in for others. But in the busyness of our lives, when the juggle of work, study and life is getting too much, how can we do this for others?

I picked up a habit long ago when working in a busy staff area at a school. There were intervals in the day when the staff kitchen was chaos, in between the lessons, recess, and lunch - for those luckily not on supervision duty with students. I used to try to avoid the traffic jam as much as possible by making my cuppa before these times. Before I left, I always filled the kettle back up and put it to boil ready for the incoming onslaught of tired and caffeine-deprived teachers and staff.

A small gesture, but one to allow a couple of minutes of peace back into the staff’s day. What I noticed was when they had those extra minutes, they were able to be more present to those around them. There was conversation about the day, checking in with colleagues, laughter and smiles.

That one small gesture gave space for people to slow down and to take a breath, even if momentarily. As I have been working from home for the past 4 months, I have started picking up the habit again for my family.

Same concept. Same space for others.

A seemingly mundane, simple concept of filling the kettle back up is a small act of kindness to help support others through their day. It is respecting others and helping to create a world worth living in. Allowing space for people to slow down, to take a breath.

As we head back onto campuses across Australia knowing each of us carry our stories with us, as we still endure uncertainty in many forms, and as we know of students and colleagues still encountering challenges – let us never let the kettle go empty.

BIO: Maddy Forde is the Student Campus Pastoral Associate on Dharug Country - Blacktown Campus. She has a heart for social justice, nature and an ability to always overfill her mug with tea.

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