I recently posted the following quote from Plato on my LinkedIn profile, and I received an unprecedented number of likes and comments. So, I thought I’d share it here and open the door for some reflection. Here it is…
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
I have talked a lot in this category of posts about building and nourishing your network, but I think this quote has broader application. Even through someone is not part of your network community, he or she is still part of the community in which you live and breathe.
So, if you encounter someone you don’t know who treats you poorly, default to bei ng kind. If this is a bit vague, here’s some more prescriptive advice tailored to specific situations we all face.
- If a customer service person is rude to you, be kind. He or she may be fighting a hard battle. Perhaps a parent is fighting cancer?
- If a co-worker from another department harshly criticizes your work, be kind. He or she may be fighting a hard battle. Perhaps he or she just received some feedback that he or she is about to lose his or her job and is desperately trying to add value?
- If someone does not smile on the street when you both make eye contact, smile. He or she may be fighting a hard battle, and your smile may be the only one he or she receives all day.
Does this mean you need to be kind to everyone you meet, no matter how they treat you. No. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not, and that’s ok. We’re all human. However, I will leave you with these three questions:
- What would happen if you were kind to others just 20% more often?
- What would be the result for them?
- What would be the result for you?
Feel free to open up more conversation via the Comments section of this post. I wish you all the best in building a better community by simply being kind!