Default is kindness

The other day I saw some toddlers playing together. It reminded of me of how my kids played together when they were young. 

The same thing struck me watching these kids play together that often struck me when I watched my own kids play together. In a word: Kindness. 

These kids were so kind to each other. Yes, the cynic could argue that it must have been a rare moment, but the moment was genuine. In that moment what mattered to those kids was the welfare of the other. 

The play was kind. They were helping each other. They got along. 

As parents we treasure those moments. I think we treasure them because it gives us hope that maybe we are innately generous as humans. It gives us hope because maybe our default state is kindness. 

“Hey, if these kids can do it after only being on the earth for a blink, maybe it’s built in.”

I was thinking about this when I heard Brad Pitt give his acceptance speech at the Golden Globes. At the end of his few seconds on stage he said, “Hey, if you see a chance to be kind to someone tomorrow, take it. I think we need it.”

There will always be a 100 good reasons to smirk, to ridicule, to ignore, to be angry, to be selfish. 

There is only ever one good reason not to. 

It’s not who we are.

We are kind.

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on January 9, 2020

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