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Kindness = Intelligence

I've often thought throughout my career, why do people have to be so mean to one another? Why does success come from beating another person? Isn't it funny that is sports and politics, we say that we "beat" the other team. Have you ever thought why we don't say that we outscored them? "Beat" is a word that has a primary definition of - to strike (a person or an animal) repeatedly and violently so as to hurt or injure them, typically with an implement such as a club or whip. Is that what we have to do to win? I don't think so, but I'm afraid that others disagree with me. I promise not to get political here, but think about the anger and judgement that is espoused by our "elected" officials. Why? Why can't good leaders demonstrate kindness and compassion? Are they afraid of getting "beat"?


If you have never watched Gov. J.B. Prtizker's commencement address, please take a few minutes to watch it on YouTube. He captured my thoughts about kindness in a very eloquent and funny way! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uFwyPP5GOQ

He has some wonderful quotes throughout this 3 minute speech. The first is, "The best way to spot an idiot – look for the person who is cruel." I understand this statement from personal experience. Many times I have been in a meeting regarding a student's or faculty's performance. Lots of ideas for corrective actions will be shared, but there is often one or two voices in the room that will cruelly say, "Just get rid of them!" I often attributed these flippant statements as signs of inexperience or impatience, but what I really may have been dealing with were "idiots".


Gov. Pritzker goes on to explain that the primary human brain function is "fight or flight", but only through true evolution and development have humans evolved to develop empathy and compassion. He says, "Cruelty is seen by some as an adroit cudgel to gain power. Empathy and Kindness are considered weak. Many important people look at the vulnerable only as rungs on a ladder to the top. I’m here to tell you that when someone’s path through this world is marked with acts of cruelty, they have failed the first test of an advanced society. They never forced their animal brain to evolve past its first instinct." How sad, but how true!


So, my advice, like Gov. Pritzker's, is to look to the kindest person in the room that might be sitting quietly...and seek their opinion. We all face complex challenges in our work life, seek advice from the kind souls that surround you because they are evolved and I believe that they are usually the most intelligent!


Let's be kind to one another!

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