Last week, an overheard conversation got me thinking. The gist of it was as follows:
Mother to 11 year old son: Who would you like to be like when you grow up?
Son: No-one. I just want to be me.
Mother: That’s great. How would you like to be as an adult? How would you like people to describe you?
Son (after some thought): Kind. I would like to be thought of as kind.
Mother: Wow, that’s wonderful. What else?
Son: Cool. I would like people to say that I am kind and cool.
I started imagining what society would be like if it was cool to be kind:
• Businesses would be more successful because they would genuinely care about their employees and customers. Their employees would work harder, feeling that they are cared for, and customers would be attracted to the positive attention.
• Government tenders would go to companies who have not only proven their ability to deliver quality on time, but who also have a record of uplifting the community in which they operate.
• If kindness was cool, there would be less bullying in schools, less abuse in homes and, hopefully, less of a rape culture and predisposition to violence.
• Social enterprises and NGO’s would be flooded with funding and volunteers until, eventually, there would be no need for them.
It is not really a far-fetched idea. More and more, I am meeting young people who want to do something more for their communities. There seems to be a trend from consumers to support companies that appear to uphold the same values as them. There is a move in organisations and institutions to not only name the values that they hold but to determine how they can live these values at all times.
This post was written by Merridy Edgson