Why Kindness Never Goes Out of Style
Every time I go grocery shopping, I make sure I thank the cashier for their hard work, ask them how their day is going, and say a kind word. It’s amazing watching how that small interaction changes their body language and energy. Often their shoulders relax, they let out a sigh and their defenses go down. It opens space for a conversation and personal connection.
With all the stress many of us are under, we need kindness more than ever. It is the light that helps break through the darkness and can be the turning point in someone’s day.
Kindness never goes out of style.
A few years ago, I read The Power of Kindness by Dr. Brian Goldman. In this book he shares stories of people who have used kindness to not only transform their life, but the lives of those around them.
These weren’t people with big bank accounts or unlimited resources. These were everyday people who valued kindness as a way to connect and help their friends, neighbours and community.
This book was written before the COVID pandemic changed how we interact with each other and the world around us.
Breaking down barriers
In the work I do as a consultant, advocate and mom, I’ve found time and time again that kindness is the key to overcoming obstacles, creating positive change and making a personal connection.
Don’t get me wrong, there are times when I’m tempted to shout, argue or push my way through a challenging situation. By I’ve learned the hard way, this is the quickest way to burn bridges and put-up new obstacles.
I’m currently working with a client who is leading the healthcare COVID response for her organization. She starts every single meeting with a smile, a kind word and checks in with team members to see how they’re doing.
There have been some tough meetings, with challenging topics that need to be discussed, and heartbreaking statistics. But by starting the meeting with kindness, she’s been able to create a solutions-based team that works collaboratively.
I once commented to her about how I appreciated her positive approach and the kindness she brings to the somewhat difficult work. Her response – my team is under so much stress and there’s enough negativity around us. I want to create a space where they feel valued and start their day with a kind word. Some days it can be challenging, but I know it makes a difference so I carry on.
Be the change
This stuck with me. Having gotten to know this amazing woman, I’ve seen the impact it’s had on her staff.
As healthcare workers, they have been carrying a heavy weight throughout this pandemic. A weight that could easily result in bitterness and resentment. But instead, they look for new opportunities to educate and help people, knowing their work is important.
I believe a lot of this stems from the kindness shown to them by their leader. A kindness that filters down throughout the team.
This leader knows that kindness never goes out of style.
She consciously made the decision to be the change instead of waiting for someone else to step up to the plate. She brings this awareness to every meeting and interaction with her team and community, who then, in turn, share it with those they encounter.
I encourage you to think of the simple ways you can share kindness with those around you. Do this with no expectations of getting anything in return.
Once this becomes a habit, you’ll start to see the subtle shifts in your interactions with others. You’ll value the smile from the cashier and see how it’s paid forward to the next person in line.
No matter how challenging the days get, remember that kindness never goes out of style.