Weekday Wisdom, Episode 12
I got a little emotional recording today’s Weekday Wisdom, in which I talk about the importance of kindness and share some rather unkind experiences I’ve had.
Today on the way to work, a guy got on the bus who was in a wheelchair and he was totally Mr. Grumpy Pants. He groused at the bus driver. Everything she did was wrong. And at some point during the ride, I noticed him talking to another bus passenger saying, “I’m your problem! I’m your problem!” And I thought, “Wow! What crawled up your butt and died?”
And this experience really made me think about how important it is to just be kind. To get along in this world, kindness goes such a long way.
In preparing for this episode, I found a quote that I would like to share with you. The quote is from Kent M. Keith and it comes from his book The Silent Revolution: Dynamic leadership in the student council. You can find the whole quote — it’s from The Paradoxical Commandments — on his website, but here is the part I want to share:
- “People are illogical, unreasonable and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.”
This passage really moves me. In fact, I did a version of this episode and forgot to hit the record button, and I actually almost cried at this poing.
You see, last year I got my core essences done. And with no surprise to me, one of my key essences — the way I perceive the world — is through the lens of kindness.
Kindness has always been so important to me.
Frankly, I just don’t understand unkindness … and pisses me off.
For example, a few years back I was facilitating a youth speaking workshop through Toastmasters. A young lady came up to me and my fellow facilitator and she shared this story about how she had dreamed of going to FIDM, a college here in Los Angeles for fashion and design. She had told this dream that she had to her teacher and her teacher said, “You can’t do that.”
My jaw dropped when she said that. It made me so angry. Number one, how dare that teacher say that to her. Teachers have such a strong effect on the youth that they teach. This young woman internalized what that teacher said. And that teacher could very well have been wrong. She doesn’t know what that child is capable of. OK, so she may not have money to go that school now, it doesn’t mean she can’t raise it. It doesn’t mean she can’t get a scholarship. It doesn’t mean that she can’t find a way to live her dream.
No one has the right to stomp on another person’s dream.
You do not know what that person is capable of. For example, I’ve had coaching clients who shared dreams with me that in the back of my head I thought, “I don’t know about that.” But I helped them figure out how to achieve that dream anyway. We would figure out the things that needed to get done to achieve that dream. If my clients didn’t do them, they would not achieve that dream. And then I leave it up to them.
As a coach — or even as a friend — you can’t make a person achieve their dream. And you should not stop them from achieving it.
I firmly believe that being kind will make the world a better place. You don’t have to like the people you’re kind to. You don’t have to like the space you’re in in the moment, because you’re feeling grumpy. You don’t have to like any of this, but politeness and kindness go such a long way.
And yes, kindness can get you into a little bit of trouble now and then. There have been times when I’ve been nice to a person at a bus stop and they’ve chatted my ear off when I really would have rather been reading Facebook.
But, who knows? Maybe that person was lonely and I was the first person who was just nice to them. You can make someone’s day by being kind. You could probably stop someone from committing suicide just because you were kind to them.
You don’t know the effect that you have on people. So, I think that being kind is the way to go. And, I think the world would be a better place if we were all kind.
Sometimes your kindness will be met with less than kindness, maybe the antithesis of kindness. Be kind anyway.
Don’t box yourself in.
Spread your wings and fly.
You — yes you — are capable of more than you know.
Please comment below let me know what you thought about this episode of the Weekday Wisdom. You can even share your thoughts on past videos. And please, if you have questions or suggestions that will help me create future videos, definitely comment below. I want the Weekday Wisdom to be something you value and that you look forward to watching. I really do value your input.