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Carnival of Poetry: The Gift of Kindness

24 December, 2023

A day before Christmas and it is already a festive season everywhere you go. People are busy doing their shopping list, everyone is planning how to spend their holidays. And here we are from the Migrant Writers of Singapore, carrying out the last session of Carnival of Poetry this year, themed “A Gift of Kindness”. It is very timely in the season of giving. We hope that we are not just excited to unwrap the gifts we are going to receive from our loved ones, but also to deliver the real meaning of Christmas. 

It was a great honor to have our six readers from different parts of the world. We have poets from Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, UK and our virtual poet from Nigeria. We appreciate their presence for gracing the session with enthusiasm even though they are on a hectic schedule for the holiday season.

It was fantastic to hear their poetry as well as their thoughts about kindness. I can still remember how Christopher shared his inspiration about his poem “Blue”. It was the person who so gently flipped a fish while grilling it over charcoal.  And from the poem of Feby, “Dear Stranger: Thank You”, we can find kindness through strangers, as she recited line by line I was smiling so widely. I could see myself in one of the scenarios – with the uncle who got down from the bus and said, “thank you, boss” – as I am also doing it myself. I am thankful to all the bus captains for bringing me to my destination safely.

As the event goes on, there are so many stories in every poem about kindness. For instance, about how Efa shared her experience during her driving lesson, the instructor was so patient with her not to give up on her as she is learning. At that moment, we can see so many different facets about being kind to other people. I like how Belen said that she is not expecting anything in return when she is doing good to other people while Jo Ann said it’s hard to be kind sometimes when we are going through tough times, but as a good human being, we are still empowered by kindness.

And of course we always appreciate the poems sent by us all the way from Nigeria. In the poem Unspoken Love, although it talks about the feelings from someone who is scared to speak about his love, from the lines he read he is just being kind to himself, and not ready to be rejected. But I tell you what, always have the courage to tell what you feel. You wouldn’t know, right?

To conclude everything above, kindness is not just a random act of being a good person but it is a skill that we need to embody in every season of life. Maybe it is small to the person who is doing it, yet we don’t know the impact of the receiver. I hope we always choose to be kind. It’s what the world needs now. We are living in an era where we are overpowered by ego. Be kind!

It elevates our spirit as a human being.

Written By
Julie Ann Tabigne

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