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Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > December 2019 > ”Being kind fulfils a need in me; it is actually being kind to myself”

”Being kind fulfils a need in me; it is actually being kind to myself”

Chef and author Nadiya Hussain talks to our kindness tsar, David Hamilton, about the transformative power of caring for others, how she saw her mother in a new light after having her own children and how she overcame childhood trauma

Q Have you experienced any significant acts of kindness in your life?

A When I was living in Leeds, I was a stay-at-home mum. I didn’t have any friends and my kids had just started school. My anxiety was shocking. I was plodding into school one day because I’d hurt my back. I didn’t realise it at the time, but another mum figured out what was wrong. On her way to work, she made a detour and knocked on my door. She said: ‘Right, come on, sit down.’ I thought, ‘Hold on a second. You don’t get to come to my house and tell me to sit down!’ When I look back on who I was then, as much as I wanted friends, I don’t think I let anyone in because that was my safe place; being at home alone. I didn’t want anyone to be kind to me because it would set me off; when someone’s caring towards you and you feel like you haven’t had that for a while, it makes you realise what you’ve lost – I was far away from home and missing my family.

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