When I started my career in retail I had to go through a month of off-site training. As is customary in retail/sales training sessions, the group I was with had to endure “ice breakers” and team-building games each day. I use the word endured because to date I’ve not met a single person who actually enjoys those types of exercises.
The very first game was for the purpose of helping us all to remember each other’s names… because the name cards that sat in front of our seats weren’t enough, obviously.
The game involved going around in a circle and using a descriptive word that began with the same letter as your name to introduce yourself, for example you could say you were,”Jazzy Jill,” or “Daring Diego”. As you went around the circle you had to repeat the names of the people who’d gone before you before you could add your own– woe to the person at the end.
Most people had a multitude of possible words to use with their names, however, there really aren’t that many descriptive words that begin with ‘K’ so when it was my turn, the choice was obvious, I was “Kind Katie”.
I didn’t like it.
It sounded soft and the last thing I wanted was to immediately have the reputation of being a pushover.
Kind reminded me of The Care Bears, of cotton candy pink, and of children holding hands and singing songs together.
But that was before I understood kindness.
Kindness is a killer. It’s one of the most lethal weapons we have in our human arsenal, but it’s also one of the least used because it’s been deeply misunderstood.
What makes kindness especially deadly is that it is unbiased and extremely contagious.
Kindness doesn’t wait for a person to show signs of being deserving of its gift, or to have proof of a specific need and therein is a unique power. Kindness buys the coffee for the person behind them in line without knowing anything about that person, without even really being able to see their face.
An act of kindness may seem small, but its ripples move far and wide through life and they compel people to act in a way that destroys hatred, selfishness, judgement, and pride.
Kindness brings down walls and opens hearts. Its not weak, soft, or squishy. Kindness is a beast and I hope that I can be Kind Katie.