You know how we're often asked to describe ourselves in three words? Well, if I had to add a short descriptive phrase to my lanyard at a conference, it might say 'be defined by kindness'. Kindness is not necessarily an attribute that you read about in personal development books or on parenting blogs, but it's getting a few more mentions lately as a basic skill that shouldn't be overlooked or underestimated. It sits neatly alongside themes of connection, finding purpose and being authentic.
You can easily join the dots between these things. Kindness is as valuable in business as it is in the supermarket, local café or home. No matter what the transaction or relationship, it’s so easy to smile and be generous of spirit and to show you care.
I love it when you meet someone who simply embodies kindness. I did something pretty weird on Friday in the pre-dawn hours. I sent a message to someone I’d connected with via Instagram. Yes, a virtual friend rather than a real-world friend. Through her thoughtful posts, beautiful photos and warm and encouraging comments, I just knew she was cool. I also knew she was kind.
Newcastle called for a day and I didn’t know a soul. I also had a few hours to fill in. It took a bit of courage to send a message, but hey, why not just put it out there? A two hour drive later, and there was a friendly message waiting for me. Sure, would love to catch up, what would you like to do?
It was pretty funny, because as we walked along the Newcastle coastline, my daughter phoned. I said that I was walking with a friend in Newcastle. “A friend? You don’t know anyone there!!” Only an hour or so into the morning, here we were. Girlfriends.
And I can’t thank her enough. Because where I was seeking perhaps ½hour of her time over coffee to just say hello, she devoted her entire morning to walking, talking, sightseeing and tour guiding. A morning defined by kindness. We laughed, we explored ideas, we shared a moment of beach inspo, we walked on the sand. She shared her favourite beaches with me on a glorious Friday morning. We talked about doing it again.
That's my kind of day,and she was absolutely my kind of girl. I’m so going to rework those song lyrics.....You’ve gotta be cool to be kind.
That kind of kindness is really something special.