Last week I wrote a post to inspire you to be kind and to show unconditional love to those around you. The response I received on social media was overwhelming, and a beautiful discussion unfolded on LinkedIn as professional women from all over the country shared incredible stories about the kindness of others. From strangers providing shelter after tragedy, to mere acquintances staying by hospital beds and offering financial assistance, the stories were so heartfelt and meaningful that the conversation has lingered with me all week.
What struck me most is that the stories were often of unsung heroes who had no idea that their random acts of kindness would have such a lasting impact on these women’s lives. Though there were no medals and sometimes even no contact past the moment shared, the impact rippled through their lives in unimaginable ways – like real life examples of the movie, “Pay It Forward.”
We know kindness is powerful, especially at times when others are down and out, or when they seemingly least deserve it. The world would be a wonderful place if we were all kind to each other all of the time. Sadly, we know that this is not the case, and that unkindness can be equally powerful and have lasting impact. For instance, there’s been a lot of news coverage about workplace bullying lately, which includes acts like repeated and unwarranted criticism, unjustified blame, disparate treatment, verbal assault, exclusion or social isolation, and purposeful humiliation. Such acts are incredibly cruel, and they would most certainly chip away at even the strongest optimist. Who wouldn’t eventually start to wonder what they do wrong to deserve such treatment? Read the rest of this entry