This Is A Season To Be Kind
Randy Wolken, President & CEO

This time of year, many of us take time off to celebrate with family and friends. It can also be a stressful or lonely time for many. Either way, kindness can anchor both others and self, and provide a basis for happiness and satisfaction. Kindness changes people – even those who don’t treat you well.

Being kind to others is one of the most practical and spiritual habits you can put into your life. In our world, kindness is often dismissed as impractical and even naïve. However, it’s neither of these things. It’s the most practical thing you can do. When people know you as a kind person, despite how others treat you, you are exceptional in today’s culture. I used to treat others as they treated me. I tried to be kind at first. If they were kind back, we continued to be kind to each other. If they were not kind back, I would return this behavior to them – or not interact with them very much. It truly felt like an “eye for an eye.” But, as they say, in a world with an “eye for an eye,” we will quickly be blind. Now, I am kind or do not say anything at all. This approach has changed me. And it truly has transformed others who interact with me.

I have several friends now who have treated me poorly in the past. Today, we are close friends and colleagues. How did this happen? I changed the way I treated them. I changed myself so they could see a better path forward. And because it is so different from what they usually get from others in our world, it truly stands out. People notice it. My friends, colleagues, and even strangers can see this in me.

Where do you start? Start with a smile. Yup – a simple smile is where you start. Smile at everyone. Get good at it. When I walk places and see total strangers, I look them in the eye, and I smile and say hello. They relax, smile back, and say hello. Nearly every time is what truly astonished me. It just works. People will stop me if they know me and talk after such a greeting – even people who barely know me. People desire kindness.

If you want to be truly happy, learn how to be kind. Kindness is the most practical way to be with others. And the first person to start being kind to is yourself. Are you kind to you? Do you encourage yourself? Do you see the goodness in you? You should. You can. You must. It will grow as you see it in you, even small amounts of it. As you see it in others, it, too, will increase. Take note of the goodness you see in all – and it will multiply. Be kind – it will allow you to be the person you most want to be.

Thanks for being kind to me and for being a part of MACNY. From the team at MACNY, we wish you a very wonderful Christmas and Holiday Season!