Hey all, we’re over halfway through the 7-week Kindness Challenge! You can read about it at Niki’s site by clicking here.
Funny thing about being kind. I learned it can be hard to do an act of kindness without experiencing some sort of personal benefit from it. In fact, it seemed like no matter what I did, I came out on top.
Not that I was keeping score…
Well, here. Look for yourself.
Example 1: A teacher came to do some work in her room, but as it’s summer break, didn’t have keys. I went with her to the classroom (it’s upstairs), opened the door, plus a few storage rooms and the copy room, we chatted a bit, I gave her my elevator key so she could move out boxes. Was I being kind? She thought so. But let’s be honest. I was getting away from my desk and avoiding work. Also, I get bonus points for finding out I missed a really annoying parent while I was gone. So there’s that.
Kindness toward others: 5 points; Benefits toward me: 8 points
Example 2: I brought in a large batch of homemade muffins to work and shared them with coworkers and visitors. Did people think I was kind that day? Yeah, howdy, I was Miss Popularity. Only I made them for my blog post Wednesday, and as a result of bringing the muffins to work, my blog got extra PR and I gained a few followers as a result.
Kindness toward others: 6 points; Benefits toward me: 10 points
Example 3: A coworker brings a facilities guy to me because he can’t get on the wifi. He sets it on my desk. “Can you do it?” he asks. I pull it towards me. It’s a really cool laptop. Looks brand new. It’s thin, sleek, lightweight. (How come an old guy in facilities has a cool laptop?) It only takes a moment to get him connected, but… well, it was a cool laptop, okay? After a little playing around I give it back to him. “Wow! Thanks so much!” he says. “You’re amazing!”
You’d think I handed him the Holy Grail.
Kindness toward others: 2 points; Laptop envy: Through the roof
I was beginning to think it wasn’t possible for me to be completely unselfish, but then…
Friday comes and we’re told we can leave early. Everyone heads out and I’m double checking a door, when I see a guy outside. He didn’t see me, so I could have ignored him, but something told me to check what he wanted. I open the inside door and call out to him (he’s on the other side of the security gate).
Turns out he’s one of the workers for our security cameras and was hoping for some water.
It’s a hot day. A really hot day, so I can’t turn him away. I walk out to open the gate for him and… oh shit. We can’t get back in! (The keyless entry locks after a certain time.)
Mild panic sets in, but I don’t let the guy know. (It reached 114 degrees on Friday. Thought you’d like to know that.)
But hey, don’t worry about me. I stay calm and eventually find a door where my keys work.
He follows me inside and I show him where the water cooler is. I find a couple of large jugs for him to fill.
He starts peppering me with questions.
“How long will someone be here?”
“Is there a way to prop open the door?”
“Do you have a key for the office we’re working in?”
“Do have a number for the custodial person?”
“Is it okay if we run a cable through the open door?”
“Do you think the alarm will set while we’re here?”
“Can I give you my number in case there’s a problem?”
(His name is Vinnie.)
After about 15 or so minutes, Vinnie leaves with his jugs of water and I return to my desk to shut down my computer. I notice the time.
So much for leaving early.
Then it hits me — Hey! I was kind! And I didn’t even benefit from it!
Whoo-hoo! Go me!
I was kind! I’m such a good person!
I’m feeling soooo good about myself! Sweet!
Wait… does that sound like a benefit to you? 😉