Kindness is a super power!
We are living in a world where often, for no apparent reason, people are mean, cruel, rude, vile, dismissive of others and their beliefs and ways of life, and just basically very unkind.
Yet it takes so little to be kinder. I always think of the film Monsters Inc which my children have always loved. It starts out all about the power of ‘scream’ until it becomes clear that the real power lies in ‘laughter’.
A simple film yet its message is very clear. November 13 is World Kindness Day and I do try to be kind. In fact recently I won an award for it – being nominated in the first place was very kind. To win was amazing. To win anything is amazing.
We have had a tough two years, and people’s reactions have been like night and day. It seems to be true, that bad times brings out people’s true characters for good and ill. If you look back over the last 18 months, I bet you can quickly list those who have been the kindest to you – and also those who have been less than kind. I can.
Facing such a challenge as the pandemic is a once-in-a-generation experience and the repercussions and effects will be wide and deep for all of us. I believe in business this will mean that ethics, purpose, behaviour and kindness will mean even more than it did before. Even though this time has also brought very divisive issues to the fore.
Some people have worked hard to help others, giving up their time, and sadly in the case of frontline workers, their lives, to care for strangers; people have gone out of their way to help neighbours, collecting shopping for them, and ensuring they were ok. Some have done this naturally, while suffering themselves through loss of income, loss of business, loss of health, loss of peace.
Whereas a minority have been extremely selfish, making sure they have everything they need at the cost of others; being dismissive of those who have been worried about their safety during the pandemic and seeming to profit from the situation we were – and are – in. Not that there’s anything wrong with offering a product or service that people need. For many business owners that was sheer luck. There are always winners and losers in any crisis. What matters, I think, is intent and tone.
When the chips were down, those who act with compassion, honesty, transparency and in a spirit of caring – these will be the ones we will remember positively.
We do need to be kinder as we enter the festive season and in 2022.
Acts of kindness not only make the person on the receiving end feel good, but also, can help the giver to feel good when they do something for someone else, without being asked.
I have so many I could list but here are just a few of the people who have shown kindness to me over the last couple of years:
Lis McDermott – my bestie, has kept me going and supported me.
Linda & Hannah – in my team who have done the boring behind-the-scenes stuff to get me online and supported all of the PR sessions and workshops I have presented during this year.
Esther James – who helps me with my social media management both personally and for my clients.
Paul – my office buddy who kept paying for an office that he couldn’t use, to reduce the burden on me.
Alec Jones Hall of South West Business Expo for believing in me, engaging with me, paying me to do webinars and also referring people to me.
Clients who supported me throughout and stayed with me through this very difficult time.
Those who trusted me enough to stay. Also, those who came along and took a chance on working with me, when most people wouldn’t necessarily take on that commitment.
Also those clients who had to go yet called me, often in tears or distress, because they had no choice. As I quickly anticipated who would be affected the most, I had no qualms about doing the right thing – what right did I have to add to their burden of worries? I’m thrilled to say that some have already come back having weathered the storm.
The kindness of clients who have sent me flowers, plants, even cakes to thank me for helping them out.
And for those who weren’t so kind, good luck in 2022, you may well need it. You won’t need me.
My husband Steve for believing my business would survive and financially supporting me to keep it going because he believed in me totally and without doubt. Also for upping his own skill set to help me with filming and being my sounding board.
For all of our children for noticing how I was feeling and even for asking if I was ok? They put up with my worries and concerns yet also celebrated daily milestones or celebrations. Many other people didn’t even notice.
Our dog Jess for giving me a reason to keep going out in nature. There is definitely a kindness within nature, that helps add positivity to the start of my day, allows me to take a breath during the day and simply reminds me of my place in the universe.
What acts of kindness can you do this week?
While you are out and about, notice how you can help others around you, even if only a small action – that can mean a lot of someone on the receiving end.
Being kind doesn’t always mean a grand gesture. It can be as simple as a smile. Can you perform just one act of kindness this week?