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Three Things
Joan  »

When I became a manager with staff reporting to me I pondered what skills I would need to focus on given I had never had such a job.  I thought about the things I valued in people who have managed offices I worked in.  One of the top things was kindness.  This probably came to me because I had recently read a quote attributed to Henry James.  He stated "There are three things that are important in human life.  The first is to be kind.  The second is to be kind. The third is to be kind."

I was so impressed by that statement that I printed it out on a large piece of paper and hung it over my desk.  It is still there many years later despite getting a bit ratty on the edges.  I look at it each time I enter my office and, I would like to think, it has impacted how I am both in the office and away from my work.


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Be Kind, and Unwind
Jill  »

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, the golden rule, for most of us it was the first rule we were taught as children. Such a simple phrase to remember but it is quite a hard one to practice. While we were young our circumference of interactions was small. It is not so difficult learning to consider those who already consider you. And I know, sometimes being kind can be even harder with those we love. Unfortunately, we even more so must practice being kind to ourselves. We must work our way inside out. Self-care, mentally and spiritually, is overlooked on a daily bases. Learning to break the bad habits of self-criticism and self-doubt will allow us to connect more genuinely in our relationships with others. So I suggest we make an updated version of our glitzy rule. Be kind to others and be kind to ourselves.



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At McDonalds

An arthritic woman, someone’s grandma no doubt, slowly and stiffly walks in out of the cold.  She sits for a while, then unwraps several layers.  Eventually, she painfully moves to the bathroom, returning 10 minutes later.  She sits again, pulls a cup and saucer from her bag, sits quietly some more, then makes her way to the counter and buys a coffee.  Back in her seat, she takes a minute or two before transferring the drink from the paper cup to her china.  All the while, I’m thinking I’ll put down my book and approach her to see if I can buy her breakfast.  Before I do so, a young business woman from the next table gets up and asks if she can get her something to eat.  She says she’d love an Egg McMuffin.  In a couple minutes the meal is on the table and the young woman is off to work.  The grandma fishes a knife and fork from her bag, wipes them with a paper napkin, and prepares to eat her breakfast.


Who says the city is a heartless place?  I’m grateful to have witnessed the young woman’s kindness.  How easy that was!  Often, it doesn’t cost much to show a little humanity.  No need to be hesitant when a clear opportunity to reach out presents itself.  Next time, I’ll be quicker to get on my feet.  Generous thoughts are good; simply acting on them is better.


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