This week’s Kind Leader focus is: Kindness is about action.
Last week, I put a couple of polls on social media. The first one asked people to vote on whether they would rather help someone else, or ask for help themselves. Out of the more than 160 people who responded, 94% said that they would rather help someone else. I was thinking about this while watching a newscast about the war in Ukraine. A young man, 27 years old from a European country, was being interviewed. He had left his home country, traveled to Poland and was volunteering as an ambulance driver ferrying wounded and ill people between Poland and Lviv, Ukraine. He had never driven an ambulance before. Or deliberately put himself in danger before. When asked why he left the safety of his home and came to volunteer, his answer was simple: "I want to do something ‘meaningful’" is what he said. Do something. Take action.
And so, what I’ve been reflecting on ever since is that kindness - an action undertaken with the purpose of creating a positive effect or outcome for another - is what gives life someone's life meaning.
Because, although we may think that focusing on ourselves, our own goals and our own success will create a meaning-full life, often it doesn’t. In fact, it's the opposite that happens: You achieve one goal, and it's exciting and seems fulfilling for a while, and then there’s that empty feeling again. And that nagging thought in the back of your mind: “There must be something more to life than this…”
And there is.
94% of you said it. It's not about focusing on ourselves. And only achieving material and professional success. It’s about helping others. Its about kindness. It’s about going beyond “thinking” about helping someone else, to taking action…and truly helping.
So, if you want to live a meaning-full life, here’s the secret: please act, and start practicing kindness.
If you're having trouble taking action, and you'd like the support of a kind, like-minded community of people, please consider joining these New School for Kind Leaders groups:
The Kind Leader Guided Book Club - Spring 2022 Community Cohort (Starts March 31st)
60 Days of Deliberate Kindness (April 23rd - June 21st)
The 5 Key Steps to Solving a Problem Kindly (April 5th)
ORGWell2022 - Kind Leadership, Psychological Safety and Mental Wellness (May 2nd - May 6th)