Myths to Retire

Myths to Retire

Pentecost 28

There are many different kinds of energy in the world. Some are renewable, meaning they replenish themselves, and some are not. One those that are non-renewable are gone, they are gone. Jane Perdue reminds us that kindness is a renewable energy. Not only is it renewable, it costs nothing, takes very little effort, and can produce miraculous results.

Jane believes that there are five myths about kindness that need to be retired. I think they need to be drop-kicked into five galaxies away but I’ll settle for simply retiring them. Ms. Perdue utilized her MBA for many years working with Fortune 500 companies. She now is co-owner of a female-owned consulting firm and is a speaker about leadership and the future. Her first book is aptly titles “Yes, You Can!” and is an indication of her approach to life.

In a blog at her company website, Braithwaite Innovation Group, Ms. Perdue begins a discussion on “leading big” with a quote from Kahlil Gibran: “Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution. “ She also mentions a personal survey she took which disclosed that while people enjoyed being around courteous people, they viewed compassionate people as being weak. FYI – The terms compassionate and kindness are NOT synonyms for weakness or stupidity. Yet, there are myths that encouraged such erroneous thinking.

Kindness myth #1:  Kind people are easy to take advantage of.  Myth buster reality, according to Jane Perdue is “Being taken advantage of happens to those who are weak. Kind people recognize a slacker or manipulator when they see one. They’re the ones who are tactful and courteous as they stand their ground.”

Kindness myth #2:  Kind people don’t push back when others ignore them, are late, or fail to do as they committed. Ms. Perdue tackles this misconception by noting that kind person dislike ill treatment just like anyone unkind does. Kind people, however, are able to respond in a mature fashion, thoughtfully employing a level tone in their response.

 

Kindness myth #3:  Kind people are afraid to say “no.”  Kindness myth #4:  Kind people always agree with everyone.  Kindness myth #5:  Kind people never criticize anyone or anything. In a world that relies on Hollywood for etiquette, a well-mannered response is often overlooked.   Sometimes w3e simply fail to hear the mature person when they respectfully tell us “No”. When they casually state their differences with our viewpoint, we discount them because – really, who would be so “lackluster” and deem them to be uncaring. What we should realize is that a mature, respectful response does not need histrionics to make a point.

It is possible to criticize and be kind. AS Ms. Perdue states: “Kind people care about doing things right, doing the right things, and developing others. Kind bosses practice tough empathy—they hold employees accountable and do so with compassion. They’re the ones who so affably point out the error of your ways that you thank them for doing so.”

In the twentieth century, women are striving to gain independence and recognition. Sadly many feel the only way to do this is to give up their femininity, to lost their compassion and kindness. Having worked throughout her career in a male-dominated field, Jane Perdue has some advice about the myth that women cannot get ahead in business. “Be a well-mannered maverick. Don’t just lean into the status quo: disrupt it!”

I have quoted this before from Buddha but it bears repeating. “Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”

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