First a quote; “Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” – Scott Adams
Good morning and happy Monday. I hope this morning missive finds you and yours both safe and healthy.
Last week I wrote about the human grieving process and suggested most of us are grieving something; could be as serious as the loss of a loved one, someone fighting for their life, or someone putting their own health at risk by serving the rest of us (postal workers, grocery store clerks, EMT’s, nurses and doctors, you get the point.) Or, it might be as simple, and as common, as our lost sense of routine, normalcy, security, safety and predictability. We are all grieving something at some level.
This week I want to turn our focus to the power of doing something, anything, that helps turn our focus outward, towards others, to make a difference in the life of another human being. Simple acts of kindness. As Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert cartoons said, “creating ripples with no logical end.”
Imagine for a minute you are sitting between to burning fires. The fire on the left is the fire of despair, fear, anxiety, and worry. The fire on the right is the fire of hope, optimism, and action. Now imagine the people you lead, love, and influence are going to be warmed by one of these two fires; they are going to be warmed by the fire you are personally feeding. If you’re a parent, which fire do you want warming your children? If you’re a leader, which fire do you want warming your organization? We know from last season’s wildfires around the country, fires spread indiscriminately and easily with alarming speed.
The question for each of us now becomes; which fire do you want to actively fight against, and which fire do you want burning warmly & brightly in your homes and organizations? Which flames should be dowsed, and which should be fanned and spread? For me personally, this is an easy decision to make. I’m intentionally choosing to feed the fire of action, hope and optimism.
Please know I’m a normal human being, I have moments when I unintentionally feed the wrong fire. I also fight a sense of helplessness and despair. Usually, I have these thoughts when I watch the world/national news. This is such a huge problem, after all, they’re calling it a pandemic. It is easy to think, “What can I possibly do, I’m only one person? Or, I’m in the ‘at risk’ age group, I don’t have any money, there is nothing I can do. I have my own problems to worry about.”
I also know when I think those thoughts, I’m unintentionally feeding the wrong fire. (Last week I offered a “thinking strategy” for you to consider, which is to say this to yourself: “I can’t help the way I feel right now, but I can help, and choose, the way I think and act.”)
What simple acts of kindness can you take to feed the fire on the right, to stay focused, upbeat and forward looking? What actions have you taken, or can you take today, tomorrow or next week to feed the fire on the right? Please share your good ideas, no matter how small, with others.
Just think how the world would be different if each of us would spread three ideas:
- Thanked our postal service person, garbage truck driver or our grocery clerks.
- Called a nursing home and ask to visit with, or pray for, one of their residents.
- Lit a candle in a front window in honor of this country’s medical professionals and first responders.
- Cut the grass or offer to get groceries for an elderly neighbor.
- Insert your ideas here and pass it on!
Each of us can do something, and each of us should try. Be your best self this coming week!
Be safe, be well, wash your hands and keep your distance.
“Expanding Your Capacity for Success”
Do you know someone who might benefit from this weekly leadership minute? If so, please feel free to pass along the subscription link below:
- “Kindness is my number one attribute in a human being. I’ll put it before any of the things like courage or bravery or generosity or anything else.” – Ronald Dahl
- “A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions.” – Ameilia Earhart
- “What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult to each other?” – George Eliot
- “Kindness is the shadow of God in man.” – Kahlil Gibran