So, how has kindness inspired us this week? This week we shared a few perspectives from my friends, family and colleagues. They are people who have helped me become a better version of myself, by sharing similar values and interests. Weeks earlier, I wrote…
There are no literal barriers that divide us from the next person, only invented ones. The divisions of race, creed, sexuality, religion, ethnicity are all constructs that were made up by a legacy we inherited to help us understand why we are different. The irony is that our only true differences are our experiences.
And so we shared a few experiences from new perspectives. We first explored how a kind act can stay with us, even years later. We then talked about how we put up walls that prevent us from trying something different, like meeting people, and helping others…and how we are always “one introduction away from being friends” with someone new. We also shared a fable of kindness that turned upside-down how we, as humans, see kindness. We then explored how we can hurt others by counting their feelings ahead of our own. We shared the power of inner-peace, and the power we have to prevent negative energy from invading our thoughts. And finally, we connected work, play and kindness by exploring how the lessons of coaching baseball can influence other aspects of our life. You do not need to be the best performer to be a champion. By shedding ego-driving behavior and having the resolve to face adversity you can rally your team to answer any challenge.
And I will conclude our eleventh ritual of kindness with closing thoughts…in the past eleven weeks we have shared a philosophy of kindness. It may have resonated with you, or you may have disagreed with it. What matters is what kindness means to you, and how you choose to take action to influence things for better or for worse. Just as you saw from our guest writers, their experiences on kindness vary. But despite these differences, there was one consistency: how we impact others by our actions. How do we know if we had a positive or negative impact on others? It depends on how you and others view the world.
And that is a perfect theme for next week…exploring kindness’ opposite: cruelty.