Innovation starts with personal revolution.
This year I am asking folks way smarter than me to answer one question. Its a simple question:
How are you going to build a better world this year?
These great minds will share with us their thoughts on building a better world both personally and professionally. Their collective wisdom will encompass the practical and the visionary. This is how good is created. Today’s guest blogger challenges herself and us to do something radical and life changing– to be kind.
How am I going to build a better world this year?
When I really got serious about starting this essay I had a pang of anxiety. Doubt spoke to me. “You? Who do you think you are that you could make the world a better place? You are nobody special. You are just, well….. you!” I almost rescinded my commitment to write.
I had a short mental wrestling match with my doubt. It didn’t take long for confidence to prevail. I am somebody special. I am, well….I am me.
So, how would I make the world a better place in 2011? Many very ordinary (but special) people do extraordinary things. I pondered doing something extraordinary for about ten seconds. Extraordinary acts aren’t usually planned. They happen when the situation evokes them. The creation of some extraordinary act wasn’t my answer.
My resolve came to me after a very short meditation. I commit to doing an ordinary thing exceptionally well, which makes it no ordinary thing.
I commit to being kind.
While I consider myself a generally kind person, I am guilty of choice: choosing with whom and how to be kind. To be better and to influence the same in others, I must be consistently kind. I will be kind in thought, word and deed. I must even look good-hearted. I will be hospitable, patient and forgiving. I will be openhearted and unselfish. It is my sincere hope that as I put this commitment into practice I will influence others to do the same. I want others to be embarrassed and recommitted, just as I will be, when I reflect on falling short of my goal. I hope others are challenged by my spirit and my actions. If I don’t challenge others to do the same, at the very least I hope to cause no ill will in my interactions. I may even leave people more optimistic about the nature of humanity.
I am going to be patient, considerate, hospitable and forgiving. All of these qualities are elements of kindness. This is how I will be accountable for improving the world in 2011.
I happened upon this quote after saving a draft of this blog. It was no coincidence, no ordinary thing.
Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.~~Mother Teresa
Angela Johnson is a marketing professional specializing in building brand awareness and product development. In addition to her career, Angela has over 20 years experience volunteering and creating service events. She credits her grandmother, the late Etta Porter Johnson, for her passion for serving others.