A lot of the books I review are fiction, which is perfectly lovely since I love fiction, but occasionally something non-fiction crosses my review desk and it is always a nice thing to expand my horizons and explore the world around me instead of one inside my head. Robin Raven’s The Kindness Workbook especially did that.
1. Thoughts on the premise (as there’s no real plot to a workbook)
This book is an exploration of kindness in both yourself and the world. It pushes you to examine your desires and dreams and habits in such a way that you do so in a kinder way to yourself. Then, it gives ways that you can engage in active kindness with the world around you, be it with friends or family or complete strangers. It has many different activities, and you can either go through them all or decide which are most pertinent and work through those.
I like the idea of trying to instill a larger element of kindness in the world and in my own life. I think that there is a great deal these days that does not even take kindness into account, which is quite sad. So actively pursuing such things is a great idea.
2. Favourite part
I like the call to introspection in most of this book. It pushes the reader to actually think about their own wishes, dreams, actions and thoughts, creating something kind and beautiful from those things. It doesn’t put the reader down in any way, just nudges into a pattern that is productive and kind. That, I think, was done spectacularly well.
I think I am not the intended audience for a lot of these exercises, which makes it difficult for me to judge how efficacious these will be. For one, I am autistic, so my brain literally does not think or work in the same was as neurotypical people. Therefore, a lot of the emotional connections or sensory assignments would either be very difficult for me to do, or they would require me to mask, which is the opposite of what I think this book is trying to achieve. That does not mean I can’t find benefit in the book; I really do like the concept and some of the exercises are useful for people who do not often spend time introspecting and examining their goals and thoughts. Nor do I think that this book is irrelevant to people who are neurodivergent—on the contrary, it may be very useful. It just has a few more pieces that are not useful for me specifically, so I cannot provide a completely objective review.
Overall, I think that The Kindness Workbook is an idea that should be aspired to. Instilling kindness and bringing about intentional thinking and actions is a very admirable goal, and these activities are a great place to start that journey. A good book.