Message from the President – Kindness Matters

One of the most important principles that my grandmother “Mimi” instilled in my brother and me is that “Kindness Matters.”  In a world where the daily news is filled with negative reports and events, simple acts of kindness are often overlooked. If we truly believe that kindness can have a significant and positive impact on our life and for others, the question then becomes – “what can you do to make kindness a lifelong habit?”

There are many definitions of kindness but to me, to make kindness a lifelong habit, you need to have empathy and compassion toward others. Empathy is the ability to look outside of yourself and understand the needs of others. Being kind to a college, family member, friend or neighbor who is experiencing a struggle can be achieved by offering a simple smile, a hug, a compliment, offering to help or share, or just spending time together.

To put it in another context, if a classmate says or does something mean, or a parent or teacher seems to always be irritable, realize that there may be things going on in that person’s life which may be contributing to that negative behavior.   At these moments, I encourage us all to have empathy for their situation and react in a way that doesn’t make the circumstances (or their mood) worse. Sometimes that means just being quiet and waiting for a calm or neutral time to talk.

Finally, it has been said that kindness begins within and spreads outward. When you are confident and believe in yourself, you are better able to consider the feelings of others. When you are kind to others, you not only feel better about yourself, but you are able to influence the way others treat you.

I would like to leave you with a few quotes to consider:

When you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours – Zig Ziglar.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about – Plato

Maybe if we can all strive to be a little kinder to each other, we can make a positive impact on our corner of the world!