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Kindness is not as simple as it looks. In the Philippines, we have a value called Utan na loob. It’s that sense of obligation to return an act of kindness with one of your own. You have to maintain the balance. This bothers me because I think the greatest kindness is when we know that it is impossible for it to be reciprocated. I worry sometimes that our kind actions, are more about easing our consciences than addressing the root causes of an issue. If we really cared, we would do more.
Yet I also know how much I appreciate simple kindness in the workplace. It could be a simple acknowledgement ‒ even with just a smile or a nod. It could be making people coffee or bringing them cakes. It could be taking time away from emails to sit down to really listen to a colleague. Kind acts can make a big difference.
Let’s spread more kindness this year, without expecting anything in return. This week let’s commit ourselves to a simple act of kindness each day at our workplace.