A Thought Experiment for TodayMay 03, 2020
Written by Roxanne Brown
I'm struck by the more frequent, genuine kindness in language and actions today, especially at work. Checking on others. Showing real concern. Smiling wider at seeing someone appear on a video call. Space given on those calls to listen to what others are going through. Proactive reach-outs. Grace. People sharing real confessions and downfalls in how they’re coping. For most, this amount of generosity is not the typical experience of work.
Maybe we are reconsidering what it means to be kind at work. Reconsidering boundaries. Still professional yet more authentic. We're all actively coping. We’re all immersed in this grand experiment.
This got me thinking: What if someone designed this thing we’re all going through as an experiment we agreed to enter into? Why might such an experiment be created? What would be its purpose? Why might you agree to be part of it?
Initial thoughts: Maybe to…
- Test how well you work with your team 100% remotely? Learn to get great at it?
- Appreciate all you have?
- Understand what you really need and what you really don’t need?
- Appreciate your health?
- Strengthen the bonds with your family?
- Appreciate your friends? Find ways to spend time with them that doesn't require physically meeting somewhere?
- Appreciate all that your community provides you? Appreciate your neighbors?
- Appreciate how much you love to do certain things? Like a night out? A sports event? The theatre?
- Learn how to stay put? Daydream? Watch the clouds go by? Enjoy silence?
- Learn how to be resourceful and less dependent?
- Rediscover hobbies? Reimagine fun?
- Contribute to improving the planet by not driving or taking public transportation?
- Work deeply on a project that you've always wanted to do?
- Be more self-reflective?
- Consider what you want your life to be about? Consider how that shows up in your words and actions? Maybe rework that?
I think we’re learning these and a lot of other things by accident. Quite an experiment!
I hope the themes of kindness and love we’re seeing more often in the workplace persist long after we get back to “normal.” I recognize not everyone is having this experience of generosity but a move in this direction is good for everyone, good for our collective health. And, a giant step toward more joy at work.
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