We are committed at the Five Institute to do everything in our power to spread kindness throughout our world, and to empower others to do the same.
To that end, we pledge to prioritise our lives and livelihoods in order to make this goal a reality, in our lifetime and beyond.
Nicholas Haines: Creator of The Vitality Test, Five Energy Secret Squirrel, and co-founder of the Five Institute
I remember the shock, horror and sadness I felt in my soul as I witnessed one of the older boys at my school beat one of new boys with the back of a gym shoe, whilst a teacher knowing full well what was going on, was a silent witness in the next room.
I was 7, and that was the school's culture, the big boys beat the little boys. That’s how it was.
Two years earlier, I’d spent a year in different family homes, being shown extreme kindness and care, at one of the most confusing times in my life. And the contrast between that experience, and what I was seeing at school took my breath away.
I said to my friend Terry, “When I’m a big boy, I’m not going to beat the small boys.” He said, “You have to.” And I said, “I don’t!”
During my life, I’ve been scared, brave, worried, happy, sad, lost, in love, confused, easy going and anxious. Regardless of the differing emotions I’ve felt, or the situations I’ve found myself in, I’ve always tried to make the same choice, to choose Kindness.
It’s how I’ve approached my work, life, family, friends and the strangers I meet.
I guess it’s no surprise then, that I surround myself with exceptionally kind and lovely people here at the Five Institute, and that Kindness drives everything we do.
Kindness is in our mission, our actions, our lives, and firmly in our hearts.
To read about my journey to the Five Institute... Click Here
Matthew Newnham: Our Lovely Sherlock Holmes of Story Telling, and co-founder of the Five Institute
As a toddler, I was the victim of horrific child abuse, which resulted in me being admitted to hospital at age five with a severe concussion, several broken ribs and a series of third degree burns. This was all courtesy, so to speak, of my mother’s partner, who was ultimately sent to prison for several years.
I grew up with foster parents whose best intentions for me were sadly scarred by their deeply flawed approach to parenting, which a harsh emotional environment, and amazingly (considering my earlier years), heavy and frequent uses of harsh corporal punishment.
Fortunately, school proved to be a safe haven for me, where I made a few friends, and even more importantly, was taken under the wings of a few especially compassionate teachers who could see how troubled I was. I flourished in school, but not surprisingly, I grew up with sharply defined views about who I thought was kind and who wasn’t.
This filtering system has been a continuing and dominant lens through which I have seen the world as I progressed through my early career as a fighter pilot (curtailed due to cataracts sustained during that concussion all those years ago) through twenty years as a corporate change management consultant (where more often than not, I ended up softening the impact of changes imposed from on high) to the past ten years, during which I have had the great fortune to work with a wide range of social entrepreneurs and changemakers around the world - each seeking to make the world a better place.
By far the person who has made the biggest impact on me and my work during this period is my dear friend and business partner Nick Haines, creator of The Vitality Test. Serving as his midwife for the past nine years has been an honour and a privilege as we work to get his insights out into the world.
Nick and I have always resonated around our shared dedication to help make the world a kinder place. And recently, we’ve been delighted to have Janet Carter join us, with her equally powerful reasons for her dedication to our shared mission. All three of us believe fervently that together, all of us around the world are stronger together. And that the world will be immeasurably better for all of us with more kindness in it.
Janet Carter: Five Institute Community Creator, Chief Organiser, and all round lovely person
Kindness has always sat at the heart of who I am and what I do, and it’s been a wonderful path to walk, with deep learnings and inspirational moments.
From 16 years in the police, where I learnt that in order to be kind to myself and others, I had to be clear, compassionate, supportive and strong. Right through to my more recent roles and work around encouraging people to be kind to themselves by reconnecting with their natural talent, energy and bigger purpose.
I love enabling people to achieve amazing results, both personally and professionally whilst feeling more energized and having fun!
Now that’s a kind way to live your life! And it makes other people happy too.
My message is simple “Know that it’s OK to be you, and that being the best version of you, whilst being kind to yourself and others is the most beautiful gift you can give to our world”
I am thrilled to be working at the Five Institute, because as we so proudly share…
Kindness sits at the heart of everything we do!
Our mission at the Five Institute is very simple... to breath more kindness into the world by helping empower everyone that supports the dream of a kinder world.
© Nicholas Haines and Five Institute, 2012-2017. All rights reserved.