Thursday, July 18, 2019

I choose kindness

In a world that has decided
That it’s going to lose its mind
Be more kind, my friends, try to be more kind
                              Frank Turner, Be More Kind                                                           
I’d like to introduce everyone to the Don’t Hurt Anyone Project. Richard Cook created the nonprofit in response to “the toxic currents of racism, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia, anti-Semitism, discrimination, harassment, inequity, and injustice … growing even stronger, wider, and deeper in today’s America and across the globe,” and “to be a voice for nonviolence, equity, justice, and civility.”

I’m a huge fan of Richard, his project, and their message.

I reached out to Richard after seeing my favorite musician showing off one of DHA’s tote bags on his Instagram. My note to Richard was simple: “Thank you. Given the current state of things, your message is one that is very badly needed.” We struck up a conversation, which ultimately led him to send me some DHA t-shirts and a tote bag (which my kids agreed to model).

I’ve been thinking about how to tie DHA and its message to the blog. And then Donald Trump and his racist tweets happened this week. (For the employment law implications if such statements entered your workplace, I highly recommend that you check out Dan Schwartz’s post from earlier this week on his Connecticut Employment Law Blog).

I fear that our society is reaching the end of civility. And the incivility emanating from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. does not help. Behavior models start at the top, and we all have a terrible role model right now.

My same fear holds true for the workplace. If an organization is run by intimidation, scare tactics, harassment, and discrimination, then it should come as no surprise when managers and supervisors think they need to motivate their teams by yelling, harassing, sniping, and snubbing. It should also come as no surprise when employees respond by treating each other similarly. We can all do better. We all should do better. We all must do better.

So here’s my pledge and promise.

I choose kindness. 
I choose civility. 
I choose humanity. 

If you’re willing to take the same pledge and make the same promise, to be an example for others to follow, drop a comment below, or @ me on Twitter with the hashtag #IChooseKindness.

Let’s help start a movement. If you’re not part of the solution, then you are the problem. Don’t be the problem.