Post #5 in a series by Lance Werner, KDL Executive Director, on creating better libraries and stronger communities through kindness, empathy and love.
In order to be kind, you have to be vulnerable. However, kindness does not equal weakness. “Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness. I am kind to everyone, but when someone is unkind to me, weakness is not what you are going to remember about me.” This quote may be from Al Capone, but it’s true. It’s tough to be kind. It takes courage. Living your life focused on kindness, empathy and love takes courage, and you must be vulnerable to do it. You have to be authentic and put yourself out there. It’s almost easier to be negative and apathetic, and not put yourself out there – to protect yourself. That’s not okay. What Brian, KDL’s HR Director, says is that “the lowest level of behavior you accept is the highest level of behavior you can require or expect.” So whatever behavior you accept becomes the norm. If you’re working where it’s okay to be unkind, passive aggressive and to not care, it becomes your culture. Not only does it hurt your work, it hurts your entire industry. So do better.