The nature of kindness is being explored in a partnership between North Yorkshire libraries and poet and performer Andy Craven-Griffiths.
Andy has been running workshops in libraries to gather stories and experiences of kindness from people of all ages. Now, the project, Joygernaut, has gone online and people across the county are being invited to share their experiences.
“In today’s world, we are increasingly sold the idea of our own individuality and importance,” said Andy. “The aim of the game is to be the most beautiful, to have the biggest TV, to get the most likes and retweets, to eat the fanciest foods and to wear the most expensive and fashionable clothes. That’s how you get to be happy. But what if it’s not? What if the way to a better life is kindness?”
Andy is interested in people’s thoughts on kindness and what it means to them. Do we need to be kind? What does kindness look like? How have you benefited from the kindness of others or from being kind yourself? Does completing an act of kindness make you feel happier?
People’s stories and experiences will influence the development of a one-person spoken-word show that will offer us a view of ourselves as ‘better’. That show, Joygernaut, will tour libraries across North Yorkshire later this year.
North Yorkshire County Councillor Greg White, Executive Member for Libraries, said: “Joygernaut is about having conversations and exchanging ideas about kindness and how it can make us happier. The thinking is that kindness can generate small changes in ourselves and others and make our communities better places.”
Andy has performed poetry extensively live on stage, including at Glastonbury and Latitude festivals. He was one of Radio 3’s Verb New Voices 2016 and has performed poetry on Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 4 and BBC2.