Are we too busy to be kind
27th April 2020
“I’ve learned people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them fee”’ – Maya Angelou.
In recent weeks the added challenge and worry of our health, home, work and financial commitments has meant life is is even more stressful .
Trying to work from home whilst home schooling and reluctantly doing the weekly food shop and not having the physical interaction with family and friends, can feel overwhelming. Whilst remote working, keeping focus is becoming more and more difficult. Lots of distractions can ultimately lead to the tasks in hand not being completed as thoroughly as we would like. Often a vicious circle of eat, sleep, try to work, repeat. Are we missing important indicators in our colleagues, in ourselves, when we fail to look up, take a minute and take a breath?
After the initial shock of our liberties being restricted, and what can feel like a relentless barrage of worry about what’s happening in the world, it could be quite easy for us to pull up the drawbridge.
But what we have found is a massive surge in random acts of kindness. People have been more thoughtful, willing to put themselves out, for the good of someone else. Across social media, amongst our family and friends and in our communities, people are looking at ways to support one another – shopping for an elderly neighbour, clapping on a Thursday evening to show support for our NHS and key workers, employees being protected by being furloughed, landlords offering rent concessions to tenants.
And fundraising for good causes! Captain Tom Moore, a near-100-year-old veteran who, in a very short space of time, has raised in excess of £15million for the NHS by walking laps of his garden. Stories like this have touched us, and even in these worrying financial times, the general public have, in their thousands, donated to a very worthy cause. His intention is heartfelt, and has been well received.
These acts of kindness have as snowball effect, and they are magnified a million times over. The ‘Be kind’ movement has gained momentum over recent years, and more recently the negative side of social media has led to a more established platform being raised, calling for better and greater regulation in order to protect vulnerable individuals in our society. Mental health is widely regarded as important as physical health, and rightly so. We all go through difficult personal and professional times. The strength is in acknowledging them, and not feeling deflated or ashamed in asking for help. Lionheart, a charity for RICS professionals past and present, and their families, provide a range of financial support, health and wellbeing packages and professional counselling. They also carry out professional development workshops which allow members to look at their mental health and wellbeing. So, how do we get off the hamster wheel and re-focus in order to get the best out of ourselves, even have a little time for self-care?!
Above all, we have to be kinder to ourselves. We have to be more honest – can you take on a new instruction? Well, yes – but with the help of a colleague.
If we feel better, we make better decisions, we will cover instructions more professionally and proactively. We will be a better team player.
In the coming weeks, as we move to our new kind of ‘normal’ we must all make an effort not to return to bad habits. Remember the difficult times when we dug deep, those random acts of kindness felt good, and were well received. ‘’When you are kind to someone in trouble, you hope they’ll remember and be kind to someone else. And it’ll become like a wildfire’’ – Whoopi Goldberg.