Volunteer Services within my organization has dedicated this week to Random Act’s of Kindness week – where all employees between the dates of February 14th – 19th can purchase a carnation for another employee, and have it delivered at any point during this week. I both applaud yet struggle with this concept.
I applaud it because I think it is a wonderful way to bring the spirit of appreciation, giving, and goodwill to others. Sometimes the smallest word, smile or gesture can make the biggest difference in another’s day.
I struggle with the concept of the initiative because of the time frame attached to it.
I know it seems like everything these days has a “Day” title attached to it.. .today it’s “International Bacon Day” and on Tuesday, April 12th it will be “National Grilled Cheese Day”. Don’t get me wrong.. I like grilled cheese as much as the next person, I just wish that being kind to one another wasn’t another something that we had to remind each other to do by giving it an associated day or time frame.
We sometimes become so wrapped up in our own thoughts, that the projection of our internal wars are received and perceived by others incorrectly. I may be having a bad day because I received terrible news and project that onto the cashier at Tim Hortons that morning as I order coffee. That person having just dealt with a rude customer turns to their colleague and projects that negativity outward.. and so on…and so forth.
Are we a culture that is slowly becoming desensitized to one another’s feelings? So busy with the day to day workload of living life that we need to schedule in being kind, considerate and compassionate to one another?
Does that then lead us to become less forgiving of ourselves? I often wonder when listening to my own self doubts and discouraging voice in my head why I am not kinder to myself too. Is it ok to AOK yourself?
Here is a video that I strongly recommend you watch, created by a hospital in Cleveland, this video focuses on empathy. This video is based on being able to see peoples thoughts, and it had quite an impact on me.