A Failure at Kindness

Kindness, like most things, is easy until you get serious about it.

I spent last week focused on kindness. It was a fiasco. It’s not that I’m unkind.

You aren’t kind if all you do is avoid unkindness.

Kindness is more than avoiding harshness or anger. Kindness is something you do, not something undone.

Why kindness is hard:

The grandfather of Jeff Bezos told him, “It’s harder to be kind than clever.”

Jeff, in a commencement address at Princeton, went on to say, “Cleverness is a gift. Kindness is a choice. Gifts are easy…. Choices can be hard.”

#1. Kindness is hard because it takes time.

You can’t be kind when you’re in a hurry. And who isn’t in a hurry these days?

Haste is the root of undone kindness.

Emerson said, “You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”

#2. Kindness is hard because it’s inconvenient.

Kindness isn’t on your calendar.

Kindness feels inconvenient because your schedule is filled with important things like solving problems, reaching goals, and addressing tough issues.

Kindness isn’t on your agenda because it’s not important.

Where does kindness fall on your list of personal priorities? Is it in the top 10?

#3. Kindness is hard because it demands focus.

Kindness is never an accident. It’s done intentionally. One of my kind friends suggests, keep your head up and look for opportunities to be kind.

Focus on small acts of kindness. Don’t wait for the spectacular.

  1. Open doors for others.
  2. Say, “Thank you.”
  3. Meet a simple need.
  4. Be helpful.

The end:

I believe when you reflect on your life, acts of kindness will make you proud.

When I think back on my anger, I cringe. When I reflect on those times that I acted in kindness, I’m thankful.

How might leaders integrate kindness into their busy days?