I met a friend and fellow author for coffee over the weekend. We don’t see each other as much as we would like and always have a lot to catch up on when we do. When we first met one another, quite a few years ago now, our conversations were all about writing and publishing. Now that we are firm friends we talk much more about life, our families and the regular and irregular happenings in our everyday lives.
During the course of our most recent conversation we started to talk about interpersonal relationships both in and out of the workplace and the things we’d observed about how people treat one another. Life being life - and people being people - we had quite a bit to say on this subject. :)
I told my friend that I’ve been ruminating lately on the subject of kindness. It seems to me that it’s a very under-appreciated and under-estimated virtue. Kindness fixes so many things. You can’t be critical while being kind. You can’t be angry while being kind. You can’t shout kindness or fake true kindness. And think about all the positive things it does. Kindness includes, uplifts, encourages and affirms.
Yet as a word, kindness is not very strong. If someone is labelled as kind it doesn’t seem a great epithet. It’s almost as bad as being called nice. What a shame that such a brilliant virtue doesn’t have a more powerful name – and yet if it did, would it indeed be so sweet?
In my humble opinion the world needs more kindness, more kind-wielders, if you will. It needs people willing to inject and distribute kindness wherever they go. Perhaps, without using the word kindness, Maya Angelou summed up this kindness-in-action philosophy when she said,
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did, but people will never
forget how you made them feel.”
I’m all for making kindness less a random act and more of a way of life.
Care to join me?