I want to take a departure from discussion the seven focus areas of our Strategic Plan and focus on our core values of Kindness, Collaboration, Empowerment and Accountability and specifically our first value, Kindness. Our values are basic as values should be. We don’t think about them, because we know them or think we do.
We witness kindness throughout ASN each day as we see our Teammates teaching our great kids. That requires many things, but kindness is foremost among them. It might be said that we specialize in it. It pervades in the work we do.
Kindness comes easier to some than to others and while there are those that can turn it on and off, depending on the situation or audience, I submit that kindness should be both our primary setting and our default setting. I believe we cannot be someone or thing to our kids and then someone or thing to our teammates and the public. I believe this not only for ASN, but for life. We all need and can give the affirmation of kindness.
Each of us has the Superpower of Kindness. Each of us has the power, to a greater or lesser extent, to change the trajectory of someone’s day…and sometimes even their lives. Think about it, your next word, expression, action or commitment can change the trajectory of someone’s attitude, outlook, confidence, understanding. What an extraordinary power! You also have the power to be unkind, again, perhaps altering someone’s trajectory for the worse.
It's not always easy. You face challenges and trials and tribulations every day. You may be dealing with a chronic illness or disability unseen by others. It is understandable that it might be difficult to ALWAYS be kind. But remember, apply that same “understanding” that others may be similarly situated. How you respond, could change that or bring about an epiphany for them that could change their world.
Approach the world with kindness in your heart. Respond to the world with kindness, empathy and the benefit of the doubt. If you need a more practical reason to be kind, research shows that when you engage in random acts of kindness it enhances your social, emotional, and behavioral well-being.
So be kind, just because - Just because it is the right thing to do; just because you can; just because it’s not expected; just because it might change your trajectory and the trajectory of the person or person you are directing that kindness toward; just because your kindness could multiply and echo into eternity.
Your position does not dictate whether you can or should be kind…you can and you should always. Now, your position may put you in more positions to be kind, but there is never a shortage of opportunity no matter who you are.
Make someone’s day today…for no reason at all, but just because you can. Defy the world and do not rage in the face of adversity, but smile and deliver a kind word. Life is not a rehearsal, be kind.