Earlier this week I attended a luncheon with Ellevate, a diverse women's networking group (there are seriously women from all walks of life - investment bankers, therapists, police officers) committed to helping women be all they are made to be (a.k.a. awesome). The luncheon featured a panel of civic leaders - an assistant fire chief, the diversity coordinator for a local community college, two deputy sheriffs - discussing how we can disagree more civilly in our professional as well as personal lives. The panel members didn’t always agree on what they were seeing nor on how to best address the discord, but it was truly refreshing to see passionate, strong female leaders respectfully discussing their thoughts on a variety of controversial topics.
One of the biggest takeaways for me was a discussion around how each of us plays an integral role in making a difference in our communities. The moderator challenged the audience to write down and then act upon “one simple thing that we would do to make a difference”. As I have meditated on this over the past few days I keep coming back to the word kindness.
Isn’t this really what the world needs right now, more kindness? Parade magazine suggested that 2017 be the Year of Being Kind. It sounds so simple, right? I encourage you to pause for a moment and think of a time someone showed you unexpected kindness, maybe it was even a complete stranger. How did this make you feel? Then I want you to think of a world where everyone prioritizes kindness. A world where people smile more, encourage more, say thank you more, forgive more, donate their talents more, tip higher just because. How glorious of a world this would be, right?
Well that world starts with each of us. It starts with me. It starts with you. I encourage you over the next 24 hours to perform one random act of kindness for someone and maybe that someone is even yourself. The kinder we are to ourselves, the kinder we are likely to be towards others. This is one powerful way we can make an impact in our communities and in turn the world. One simple act at a time. To me this is the yoga. Not just the postures we perform but more importantly how we take what we learn on the mat out into the world.
“How do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time.” Morgan Freeman
Oh and if you’re curious, post luncheon I’ve committed to performing at least one random act of kindness per day. Yesterday, for example, I complimented a complete stranger. See! SO simple. Use the comments area below to share what you’re doing.