Kindness- a big word. Everyone talks about it these days (sometimes in a preachy sort of way!). But what does it mean?
My mother recently cooked chettinad chicken for me when I visited her after months – no grudges about not visiting her for a long time, just happiness at seeing me and wanting to make me satiated with food and love. Is that kindness?
My son gave me a little kiss and a big hug when I told him that my laptop had crashed and I was stressed about my data. Is that kindness?
A few years back, I delayed my salary payments to a few employees due to an unforeseen emergency. I told them about my situation and they didn’t complain- Infant they agreed to support me by delivering more work to help me overcome my cash flow crunch. Is this kindness?
Well, the more I delve into this, I realise how complicated kindness looks but how simple it really is. I hate to deconstruct it and make it too ‘rational’. After all, it is a feeling that prints an act and feelings are best left alone to be felt and not dissected. But I will allow my logical brain to take over for a while and find some common threads that allow kindness to emerge –
- Empathy – a genuine ability and desire to view a situation from the position of the other person. My mother did that – she empathised with my busyness and it allowed kindness to emerge.
- Concern – the ability to understand and care for a person or a group of people. My son felt it for me and did whatever best he could to help me feel better, and it allowed for kindness to emerge.
- Trust- the ability to leave behind a bit of rationality and let the gut take over when analyzing a situation or a person. My team did this for me and it allowed kindness to emerge.
Kindness needs no hierarchy or authority for it to emerge. You need nothing – no position of power or superiority to be kind. A beggar can be kind – infinitely more than the richest. It needs no skill or practice – a dog can be kind; a toddler can be kind. It really is a state of being. Kindness cannot be measured or judged – it’s flowing – cannot be contained for measurement.
But most importantly, kindness is contagious. The more you receive it, the more you spread it. On days that I experience kindness from my kids, my team, my neighbor in the metro – those days I am kinder.
“It’s play that makes us do serious stuff better”. That’s the philosophy on which Priti has founded The Catalyst.
Priti’s sales stint at Unilever in her initial corporate stint and her strategy consulting role at Accenture allowed her to have a deep perspective of how businesses run and she combined this with her entrepreneurial dream of running an immersive learning venture to start The Catalyst in 2009.