I saw this sign on the counter in our local Kabab Burger where my son and I love to eat. You can see a tray of baklava underneath the sign. (Yum!)
Kindness does matter and it also reminds me of something Mindy Kaling shared at the 2016 Watermark Conference for Women when she talked about how a man commented that “sweetness left her years ago.” She was concerned at first and then after thinking about it decided that she didn’t care. The people she looks up to are not sweet. Often for women, being sweet can imply being dumb or unimpressive. So Mindy came back the next day and said, “You know what, I don’t need to be sweet, I’d rather be rich.” Sweetness doesn’t get results.
This reminds me of the difference between being nice and being kind. Being nice is like a handshake and a smile and using polite words. Kindness is about respecting ourselves and others and the environment around us. Kindness is about treating others and our space with dignity. Kindness is going out of our way to help others make a difference. Kindness can mean having the difficult conversations in a way that respects the other person.
I strive to always be kind but I am not always nice. Being nice is not always good for me. When I am kind my mood always improves. Sometimes, when I am nice, I am left feeling like I gave up something that matters to me. Being kind allows me to show respect for others and maintain integrity for myself. Being kind comes from caring for others and seeking ways to help them.
My kindness message to you is, “You are enough.” Yes, you! I get so much joy out of empowering others to do great things. In all of my coaching I see how we are our greatest limitation to doing great things and following our dreams. And I see how our saboteurs bring us down and limit our full potential. You are not a failure. You are an amazing human being living a great life and showing up for yourself and others. You are enough.
What I want for you is to love yourself. Be kind to yourself. Believe in yourself.