Building BridgesDecember 31, 2021
Meeting Conflict with CuriosityFebruary 28, 2022
Message from President/CEO Chantel Schieffer
In February, we welcome Random Acts of Kindness Week (13th – 19th) and I believe this intentional focus on being good to each other can’t come soon enough.
Over the past few weeks, I have directly experienced and heard from others that our collective bad behavior is showing. I’m guilty of it, too. We all are, really. Speaking purely for myself, I am tired, often frustrated, confused, and sometimes even lonely. When I feel this way, practicing kindness is the furthest thing from my mind. Who has time for that?
In reality, when I am feeling depleted is exactly when I need to lean into kindness – for myself and others.
Let me share what I believe kindness to be, at least from my perspective. It’s not about just being nice or polite. It’s not passive and performative. Kindness is transformative and requires action – big and small. Leaning into hard conversations – kind. Listening to different viewpoints with open minds and hearts – kind. This is hard and necessary for the sustainability of a civil society.
“Kindness is complex, layered, intentional, and above all, about self-reflection,” says Houston Kraft, the author of my latest literary obsession Deep Kindness: A Revolutionary Guide for the Way We Think, Talk, and Act in Kindness.
Maybe that’s what makes kindness challenging at times – that self-reflection piece. We have to understand ourselves and explore our own behaviors in order to really see the humanity in someone else.
So this is my challenge to myself this month – to get really clear and intentional around how I show up with kindness at the front of my mind, not the back. How can I leverage my own better behavior to help create a world in which I might feel more engaged, energized, and hopeful? How can I show up differently to feel more belonging, gratitude, and comfort?
This is a big lift, but I bet it will be worth it. I invite you to join me on an epic journey to explore kindness in February through the resources below. And I’d love to hear what you think about kindness and it’s role in our society.
Be well and lead well,
Chantel M. Schieffer
President & CEO
Class of 2010, Masters 2019