Social media digitally connects us to the world's latest news and trends. All of this is convenient, but I believe it comes at a cost -- the loss of what I like to call "the human connection." Recently, I went on a trip with my wife and in-laws and discovered that the human connection does still exist, and to my surprise it was where I least expected it... New York City.
Sadly, in my experience, purposely ignoring pregnant women while riding public transit has become the norm, not the exception. What has happened to humanity? The lack of focus on others, supported by the technological tools to "zone out" or feign ignorance wherever and whenever possible makes this willful blindness not only possible but probable as well.
Within our human connectedness, what matters the most is something so simple it can almost be overlooked. Something so ordinary in its application that its intense impact can be disregarded. It is simple, but not easy. Unpretentious, yet so difficult to maintain. That's the thing about kindness: it seems basic.
The mission of #JustGive, to inspire the idea that giving can be simple, spontaneous and contagious, is something that I am really passionate about. Here are my top five fun, easy and totally free ideas that we can all incorporate into our daily lives that will have a "pay it forward" effect on our community.
A lot of people are attached to the idea of being "nice." It's not so easy for these individuals to let go of their need to be nice, or to appreciate how different it is from being kind. This distinction is important, however, because these two ways of being lead to very different outcomes in one's personal and professional life.
If you've been an overly nice person at work, you should understand that your self-worth can never be improved by trying so hard to please others. You have to learn how to validate and respect yourself, and stop doing so much for your co-workers. When you can focus on making yourself happy, you'll do a better job at work.
Let me fill you in on a secret: It's because you are too busy focusing on you, your company and your brand. You. You. More you. Forget about yourself for a second. Focus on the scintillating stars around you. They are gorgeous, captivating and brilliant! There is so much to discover. It is there waiting, just like you. All you have to do is open years eyes, click and share.
The text I received a few minutes later nearly exploded through my handheld and enveloped me in OMGs, thanks yous and plenty of exclamation marks. Reading her words, "You SOOOO just made my day!" planted a huge smile on my face. I imagined my friend's face had a similar expression. Not bad for a 10-second text, eh?
With the news programs blaring the most recent political scandals, it's hard to remember that there are positive things happening in the world and leaders who are inspiring heart-centred change. It's integral that we maintain a healthy, higher perspective about what really matters and share it with our communities.
Today, November 13, is World Kindness Day. Kindness toward species outside our own constitutes the highest form of altruism. Dr. Melanie Joy, a professor of psychology and sociology at the University of Massachusetts, introduces the concept of "carnism": a belief system by which we love and treat some animals well, but not others.
The reality is that we do not have to be professional "life-savers" to help people. Each of us can choose to live a meaningful life, to have a positive impact on others, and to embrace and help people in need. No cameras. No medals. No public recognition... just ordinary "heroics" by ordinary people. I believe that there is "magic" in kindness.