The Kindness Factor

In a recent interview, I was asked, "What is the number one trait you seek in a leader?"

Ambition, intelligence, dedication - these were some of the few words that ran through my mind. I sat back for a minute, listening to the others on the interviewee panel say these words instead.

There was no wrong answer to this question, but it had me thinking - what adds to a person that sets them apart from everyone else?

Of course, they already have the title and the position of power, but what makes those beneath them want and love to work for them?

"Kindness."

Not the most conventional answer, and probably not the one the panelists expected, yet it's the answer that I believe holds an unparalleled strength.

Living in a world where pain is inflicted upon us at a moment’s notice, and selfishness taints the hearts of many, being shown human decency is a rarity that people latch onto. To have an authority figure that has kindness lingering in their soul is a blessing in disguise that should be appreciated far more often.

Many don’t realize that being a kind individual opens so many doors for you. Whether you share a nice thought with someone or flash a smile in the direction of the person who sits across you at work, kind words and gestures do make an impact.

People remember the nice things.

As a society, we should actively work to create a more harmonious world than the one we're living in. We should strive to make positive bonds and connections. Maybe as a composed unit, the negatives could cancel out.

Utilize the kindness factor. I promise, it’s critical.

I can't stress the value of it.

I push you all to be kind every day.

In your personal life.
Academic life.
Especially, your work life.

As you grow older, and you want to continue climbing upward in your career, you need people to vouch for you. You're not going to get to the top the minute you step onto the field, are you?

Hell no.

And if you want to reach the top, then you sure as hell better be kind to those around you. Whether they're other interns, your supervisors, or the CEOs themselves, always be kind. Offer a helping hand. Even if you’re frustrated as hell and nothing is going your way, slap that smile on your face and leave the negative energy at the door.

A kind attitude sets you apart. You may not notice the impact, but those around you will, and they’ll always keep that at the back of their minds.

It’s profound how the smallest of actions - a smile, a compliment, a helping hand - leaves an impression on someone. I’ve seen small and large acts of kindness that lead me to believe that hope still resides in this world.

In a chaotic world, where hatred is spewed daily through the news and the mouths of those many deem leaders, choose to channel your thoughts and use your words to instill hope among people.

In a world where we are unfairly pitted against one another in a belittling competition neither of us signed up for, choose to uplift and empower each other.

In a world where darkness is found at the turn of a corner and scroll through one of the many social media platforms, choose to radiate light at the end of the tunnel.

In a world where the compassionate nature of humans is severely lacking and empathy seems to diminish at an alarming rate, choose to suffocate those around you with love, not hate.

There are always choices to make.

I push everyone to consistently choose to be kind.

Kindly yours,
Sarin Christine

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All photos taken by Amanda Lac.