Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. –Plato
On Average, Americans spend nearly 50 hours a week working — among the highest number in the world. But if you are on a fast track, or working to keep your job, build your business, or embrace today’s social and mobile technologies (e.g. posting on Facebook or Twitter), you can spend nearly twice that amount a week working. I know: I did it for nearly 30 years.
Equally importantly, many of us take our work ‘home with us’ in today’s connected world. As result, all those working hours can make or break the quality of our personal lives – including our families and ourselves. Again, I know, because that effort broke me: I had 3 epidurals and 2 major back surgeries in 2010 and was confined to my bed for many months. What does that mean to you: simply work can, and often does, define the quality of our lives – both with our-selves (heartache and physical and mental breakdowns) and with others (unhappy relationships with loved ones including our spouses, children, parents, friends and neighbors).
In the article “The Sociopath in the Office Next Door,” it was pointed out that many of us have had to (and continue to) deal with leaders who are either shut down emotionally or simply mean and self-centered. Despite their talents in building a business, these individuals can make our work lives hell as they pursue their desire for ‘more’. Based on my last 30 years, plus my recent brush with a life-altering disability, I can now clearly state with clarity and conviction: kindness matters – especially at work given how much time we spend there and how it is increasingly infiltrating our personal realm.
Why does kindness matter: Simply:
- WE are all of the same kind – the humankind
- WE live and operate in a ‘flat’ and connected world and
- WE value people who treat us well and care.
Lucky for us all, the social revolution is well underway. It is connecting us to each other and allowing us to share our suffering and express it out-loud. It is allowing us to realize that we are all of the same kind – the HUMANKIND! And as a member of the HUMANKIND, we care about not being hurt, achieving self-mastery, and belonging one to another (e.g. that is why Facebook has grown virally to be a community of 600 million members). In short, we want to connect – with our friends, family, other customers, employees AND EVEN OUR HEART – yes that is correct, our heart.
Its time for businesses and governments, and their leaders, to realize that the old saying that ‘Don’t take it personally, it’s just business’ is no longer (and never was) true. Business and government is social and personal!. That is the bottom line. Given that, its time for all of us to embrace our KINDNESS, because being Kind matters in a social and connected world. Even (if not especially) at Work!