Friday, 16 March 2018

The Cost of Kindness

Yesterday, one of my connections posted an article on LinkedIn..

It wasn’t an article aimed at educating us about the next new thing to help of our businesses achieve something wonderful. lep top the next level of growth, sales of revenue.

It was not an article inspiring Leadership, motivation, meditation or mindfulness.

It was not about team building, presentation skills or the latest IT development.

It was far more insightful and important.

The article was a challenge to all readers to perform a random act of kindness and to record it in the comments section. Further, the author offered an incentive to do so in the form of a donation to a charity.

The last time I looked, there was but a single comment.

I have enough faith in humanity to believe and act of kindness was performed by more than one reader, leaving me pondering if we are embarrassed by sharing what it is we do to help others.

I wondered if we consider sharing such acts as being a weakness?

Alternatively, do we perform acts of kindness with no desire for any recognition?

Chances are it is a combination of both with an emphasis on the later.

Moving on.

I attended a meeting at a café earlier today with someone who I have met with regularly over nearly 30 years now.

He went to the counter and ordered, long black for two one (his) with hot milk on the side.

About 10 minutes later, one of the staff came to our table and handed him his credit card. I asked if they had a problem with their EFTPOS machine because I have cash and can pay.

In an evasive manner, he said they didn’t.

Further questioning revealed he had paid for the order of an Ambulance officer who joined the queue a few places behind him and leaving his card for payment, it was now being returned to him

He subsequently told me that for 15 years or more, whenever he notices a police officer, ambulance officer, fireperson or nurse, he quietly and confidentially arranges to pay for their coffee order asking the café to say their order has been paid for by another patron who wants to thank them for all they do for the community.

He added, while all these people choose their work and are paid for it, no amount of money is adequate compensation for some of the situations they find themselves in and if my little gesture of thanks makes a tiny difference, then we are all better off.

The events of today have left me wondering if we should be more open about our acts of kindness.

Australian culture is one where we frown upon those who talk themselves up or self-promote however, perhaps we over do this.

We are forever being lectured about the example we set to the next generation and being good role models but we tend to only address this is the wake of a negative occurrence.

There are so many ways to help someone or to perform an act of kindness. It may be helping a parent put a pram in a car, holding the door open for an elderly couple or assisting someone in the Medicare office struggling with the paper work.

It may be buying a coffee for a Cop or Ambo.

Being a little more open about such acts is a most tangible and meaningful example to everyone.

May your weekend be satisfying, energising, educational and enchanting, plus all else you want it to be.

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