Today, Friday 13th November 2020, is World Kindness Day. After 9 months of one of the most challenging years many of us have ever faced, it seems more relevant than ever to celebrate kindness and the incredible impact any act of it can have.
At YOURgb, our director Gilly has always held kindness as a core value of the business. Whether it is with our colleagues, clients or suppliers, it is at the heart of what we do. As individuals, we pride ourselves on this trait, although we all know we can always go a bit further.
There are so many ways to explain what kindness is, but to keep it short (ish…we have a lot to say about kindness!) and sweet, team YOURgb are describing what kindness means to us and how it can change someone’s day for the better!
“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” – this quote, from Amelia Earhart, perfectly sums up kindness for me. You never really know the positive effect a small, even tiny, act of kindness can have on someone and how much it can change their day, which could change someone else’s. It can be as small as a bright hello from a stranger that puts a smile on your face, and it costs absolutely nothing to do that. I think it’s amazing hearing the stories of kindness that have been shared in recent months, and I hope it’s something we don’t stop hearing about.
To me, kindness is a thoughtless act that requires no recognition or monetary value, something you have done to make someone else smile or brightened up their day in some small way.
Below are two favourite quotes that describe how I see kindness:
“A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money.” – John Ruskin
“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” – Princess Diana
“I think probably kindness is my number one attribute in a human being. I’ll put it before any of the things like courage, or bravery, or generosity, or anything else… Kindness—that simple word. To be kind—it covers everything, to my mind. If you’re kind that’s it.” —Roald Dahl
My two cents on kindness:
Kindness is not really a sought after or preferred attribute in a big business type world. And far too often, kindness is mistaken for weakness, or can be seen always as a weakness by some, “They are too kind, therefore I can take advantage of them.” Kindness is however incredibly important. We are biologically programmed to benefit from being kind and receiving kindness from others. Literally scientific-y things occur inside our bodies, like the production of oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin and endorphins, when we experience kindness (I think). Our body’s natural response to kindness is to reward ourselves. It is proven to be very good for us and very good for our health, so there needs to be more of it!
Michelle Obama‘s famous phrase — “When they go low, we go high” – to me it means that sometimes we can experience people being unkind, in work – and in life. To me the best way to handle it is to elevate and be kind in response.
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop
I believe kindness is one of the best traits a person can possess, and it can be the simplest of actions! No matter the size, it is always easier to be kind than it is to not be, and you never know the difference that small act can have on someone. I was taught as a very young age to ‘treat someone, the way you would like to be treated’ and this has always stayed with me.
I like the simple concept that is being taught to young children. When kind words or actions are shared, our buckets of happiness fill up. And when unkind words or actions are displayed, our buckets become a little emptier and the world is a sad place as a result. We all want our buckets to be full of kindness and happiness. Everyone does, young or old. It is that simple.
I was once told I needed to stop being so nice to everyone or I’ll never get anywhere in life….. this advice was not asked for and nor is it correct! We should surround ourselves with kind people and be the friend that is there to support, listen and encourage. My mantra is and always will be: “Always have a willing hand to help someone, you might be the only one that does”.
Thank you to everyone who has shown us kindness and compassion and let’s continue to share the kindness with everyone we meet.