Enlightened philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau famously, and simply asked: “what wisdom is greater than kindness?” It is a small accessible act that can have mighty consequences and is easier to perform when its soul sister, empathy is on board. I find that if I can take a beat before descending into my less than kind barbarous self, so that empathy can take control, Kindness is easier and deeper.
Like joy, and the (to me) elusive act of meditation, I make it a daily practice. This is essential, especially living in a large city, where the battle for space, for a break in the traffic, for peace and quiet, for a living, for rights seems to be forever waging.
Small acts of kindness disarm and bring us out of the fight club and back to a human state.
Kindness in the workplace:
I hold kindness when I’m managing projects for clients. Entrusting a service provider to manage the look, feel and messaging of your business online is an act of trust. It can also be a time of heightened emotion. There are requirements on your time, the need to deliver resources and collateral and introduce an external agent into the workings of your business. It’s brave and often challenging. Acting with kindness and understanding is essential to managing the smooth progression of a project. There are many needs and loose ends. Stability, kindness and empathy are key.
Kindness as an act of regeneration
Kindness is an act of enrichment. Many an inspirational quote reminds us that kindness is a gift for the recipient and the giver. Even if kindness doesn’t land well, it generally rewards when you send it out. In this way, it’s an act of self love as well.
Kindness to myself : putting my oxygen mask on first
Being kind to oneself is the ultimate act of resilience and compassion. In business, especially in solo businesses, we need to be stable, running well and delivering income generating work to keep our clients in business, to pay our staff, to keep our lives running, make the social media posts, do our marketing, admin, performance reviews. We need to get up when we’d rather be in bed, to keep going when there’s noone to pass off to and make all of the decisions in the absence of another to seek guidance from.
Kindness and respect for all that we do, for when we make mistakes and when we triumph, for when we are able to stay clear on our vision and values, continue to be kind and patient, empathetic and compassionate when under the water we’re paddling like 18 geese, is an act of sustainability. We are daring greatly, in the arena, as Brené Brown, who recently championed this quote from Theodore Roosevelt reminds. Kindness needs to be our daily practice.