In the final of our series of blogs exploring our values, Pamela Ball reflects on kindness.
Shall we all practice kindness together?
In this extraordinary November taking place in the year of the Pandemic, I have been reflecting on kindness.
It almost feels counterintuitive to discuss kindness at what feels like such a divisive time for much of our politics and society, but this is exactly why our values of compassion, kindness and love have never felt more important to us at Do-Well.
Is this because these values assume the best in both people and their situations? If that is the case then I am even more happy that Do-Well places our values front and centre in our ethics, work, and personal interactions because those values represent hope.
Hope that the best of people is present in the largest majority of us.
The dictionary definition of kindness is - the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate.
Kindness is a type of behaviour hallmarked by generosity, consideration, and concern for others.
This definition sheds light on why so many religions and movements have some variation of the “do unto others” rule of life.
It’s because kindness assumes caring for others is a benchmark of civilised human society, and it naturally leads to the equality, equity and equilibrium that arises from recognising each other’s humanity. In other words, kindness assumes a simpler, more equitable world.
Bringing out the best in others
On another deeper level, helping and being kind to others, loving others, sharing, and showing compassion brings out the best in all whom we interact with.
It is also very good for our health and wellbeing! Did you know that witnessing acts of kindness produces oxytocin, which aides in lowering blood pressure, increases our self-esteem and helps prevent heart attacks?
Kindness is also a key resiliency tool. Being kind to others not only provides positive mental benefits but can contribute to positive physical responses, including building our immunity.
Logically then, if we act with kindness and practice it as a lived behaviour, both our organisations and all of the individuals we interact with will be healthier and experience more positive wellbeing.
Kindness as a business tool
What if all businesses were developed with kindness as the core value? It would allow acceptance of all employees for exactly who they are and would honour their unique offer to any company.
Kindness naturally forces planning and operations that aim to give every employee what they need to be the best for your business. This naturally leads to profits and productivity.
Kindness as a business tool automatically bends the trajectory towards social economic models that support the many, meet community need and roll profit into programmes that create wellbeing.
In this pandemic, kindness is what has kept communities functioning and individuals safe. Real people in their own localities have simply rolled out the necessary services and infrastructure to ensure their vulnerable neighbours had whatever they needed to stay fed, connected and well.
Kindness encouraged interactions were positive and enabled those who needed it to be wrapped in support and care. It lowered the level, and in some places precluded the need for government interventions.
Do-Well seeks to live kindness by meeting our clients and stakeholders where they are at in their own lived experience.
We assume the best in people and in their organisation’s intent. Whatever your story, we seek to help you share it by generating the trust that comes with creating a culture that is compassionate, kind and therefore inevitably loving.
Over the last year, Do-Well has been informing our own practice of our lived values by exploring the concepts of kindness and compassion through discussion of the learning from the Carnegie Trust’s Kindness Innovation Network.
We do this because we believe that kindness, as with all of our values, requires conscious recognition and robust practice. Just as with our muscles, our values must be flexed and tuned in order to deliver on their promise.
Shall we all practice kindness together?