By Kaitlin Johnstone

World Kindness Day

With World Kindness Day approaching, we have been reflecting more than ever about what true kindness means. This should be easy for us right; I mean we have built an entire company on the very notion of redefining kindness. However, our definitions are ever changing as with most things in life, not much stays the same. It is being open to that change that enables us to truly cultivate kindness.

It’s interesting that as a society we value new information when it comes in the form of a college degree, or trade, but when it comes to becoming a better human, often times we turn a blind eye to injustice because god forbid we sit within our own discomfort. That is far too diffciult of a task.

To further elaborate let’s think about this for a moment. I have a dual Masters Degree in education and taught Kindergarten for 6 years. If someone had a question about phonological awareness, I guarantee they would come to me and not their local mechanic. Similarly, you would not want me anywhere near the engine of your car. Trust me, you most likely don’t even want me driving your car let alone working on it.

So why is it, when it comes to ideas such as social justice, history, and science we are all self-proclaimed experts?

The age of misinformation has fueled a war amongst others and in some cases has resulted in death. It's not surprising, yet it’s extremely disheartening. And I don’t know about you, but I am tired of the old cop out “let’s agree to disagree”. This statement weaponizes kindness. It suggests that kindness is niceness. That we should all stay in our lane, keep our mouths closed, and not make waves. Niceness is dangerous. Being nice wouldn’t have put an end to Jim Crow. Being nice wouldn’t have provided women the right to vote. So, when you hear someone say let’s agree to disagree, think of who is coming out on top in that statement. Does the person using this saying have anything to lose? My guess would be no.

I can’t agree to disagree on masks and vaccines (if able) when over 740,000 people have died in this country alone.

I can’t agree to disagree on dismantling white supremacy when the systems built in this country have been perfectly designed to help white people and further harm marginalized communities.

I can’t agree to disagree on gun control when over 1,000 children have died so far this year due to guns.

I can’t agree to disagree on LGBTQ+ rights when lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning students are more than four times as likely to attempt suicide compared to their straight and cisgender peers.

For us, it comes down to a question of humanity. You can hold the door for a stranger and be nice, but what would you do if that stranger was discriminated against at work due to their gender? Would you use your voice to create change?

You can buy your friend a cup of coffee to be nice, but will you cultivate true kindness and wear a mask in public spaces to keep them safe and healthy?

You can be nice and say you want your children to love all children equally, but will you intentionally teach your child accurate history and the importance of seeing and valuing skin color to potentially spark change for the next generation?

As people and as a company we have come to a point in our lives where we recognize the importance of practicing a form of kindness that values people. We strive for kindness to be inclusive. We wish for kindness to embrace empathy. We crave a world that sees justice as a form of kindness. So, for this World Kindness Day and everyday forward remind yourself that the world can’t change, unless you change it. Let’s get out there and cultivate some true kindness together.

Our November Tee of the Month is a reminder to do just that. 


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