Friday, September 19, 2014

On Kindness

I have a quote above my desk by Vaclav Havel: “Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed.” The other day someone sent me a kind note to say how much she appreciated my work. It was one of those days when I was feeling low, when I was thinking that my work was not only unsuccessful, but perhaps not even good. How can we be certain? But those kind words lifted me up again. While it’s been said often enough to be a cliché, it doesn't diminish the truth: a small act of kindness can make an enormous difference to us.

During the teachers’ strike so many people were kind in small ways, honking, waving, bringing cupcakes, pizzas, notes of appreciation. Now that the strike has ended and we return to our ordinary hurry, it’s more important than ever to think about kindness, especially when bitterness, hurt feelings and anger against colleagues has been inevitable in this battle. Each of us does what we believe is good. Who can know for certain? The only certainty is that our bitter words hurt and our kind ones heal.