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#27: The Kindness of People
Show love and kindness any chance you get.
Growing up, I was quite self-centred and hardly considerate of others. As a student, I had things fairly easy, so my perceived success made me think I was self-sufficient. Instead of being open to helping, I typically blamed others for not being “strong or smart or reasonable” enough to do what I was able to do well.
In fact, I specifically remember a situation in secondary school where I shunned someone who was asking me about something, instead of helping, I muttered that it wasn’t my fault she was “slow.” What an ignoramus I was.
I’ve since realised that lack of kindness/compassion comes from lack of experience, and oh boy was I inexperienced. Thankfully, my family was never afraid to call me out, so I continually worked on being less self-centred, and I was much kinder in Uni.
As you can already tell, I have now been through life’s many experiences, and I have come to appreciate that a little compassion and kindness can go a very long way. I’ve got numerous life examples but two in particular stand out that I’d love to share today.
In my last note, I shared that I had been burnt out, but I didn’t get to share the full story. That particular day, I woke up feeling extremely tired, I cancelled a few meetings but still had to show up to others.
One of those was a work call with a prospective partner. As we got on the call, I pitched and shared info about my company, dropping hints on how we typically worked with partner communities like his. Then it was his turn to pitch, and as he did, I realised that his community was a local chapter of a partner we already had a strong collaboration with. That meant there was no need for a partnership with his.
Then he asked something. He asked if he could help with finding providers for a service we were trying to offer. This was music to my ears as I had been looking for an inroad into this area. You could tell this person was still figuring out stuff, but what struck me was his willingness to look beyond himself. He was more than willing to help others, even if that meant going out of his way. That call was so liberating, it lifted my spirit and gave me the strength I needed to push through the rest of the day.
Of People We Know
Often, when I think about kindness, I find that I tend to overlook the kindness of the people I know. But in reality, the kindness of the people in my life have helped me become a better person to other people I know and strangers alike.
When my husband and I started dating, one of the key things we talked and agreed on was our disposition to managing conflicts. We agreed that no matter how tense a situation was, we would relay to each other with kindness. That has become a bedrock for even other relationships I have with friends, extended family, and so on.
Earlier this year, I was raising funds for a mentorship program for my nonprofit. The team had sent out over 50 sponsorship requests to companies, but nothing had yielded. I had an idea to reach out to my friends and family about it. It seemed awkward and uncomfortable at first, but I decided to do it afraid. Reached out to 1 friend today, another the next, and so on.
Guess what? None of them said no.
What shocked me was not just their willingness to donate, it was the fact that they did beyond my imagination, one of them even went the extra mile to provide professional support in other areas we needed help. We ended up raising over 150% of our initial target, and I have them to thank. If you’re reading this, thank you again, I have come to see that I truly have the best people around me.
Today, I’m reminding you (us) to not take the people around for granted. A little kindness really goes a long way.
Always be kind.
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