By Steve Moran

I’m reading the book Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World by Wiwek Murthy. He is completely sold and passionate about nurturing a sense of kindness in order to create a sense of belonging in communities. In it, he tells the story of Tom Tait, a city leader in Anaheim, California.

The way it happened was that he saw a poster that had these words, that will not be new to you:


Ultimately, he ran for mayor on a platform of making kindness contagious. The idea behind his thinking is really simple, and it might very well be that it could transform senior living as it transformed Anaheim.

What If?

Here is the thing that could transform us. What if every time we encountered a difficult frustrating situation, we asked this one question:

“What would kindness do?”

I can already hear you saying “whoa what about . . .”? Kindness sometimes means discipline; kindness sometimes means saying no; kindness sometimes means firing someone. But starting with what kindness would do, I think, would often change how we interact with team members, with residents, and with the public.  Spend more than 3 minutes on social media and you will see this question is rarely invoked by people posting anything.

Going Bigger — A Million Acts of Kindness

One of his big initiatives was to launch a “Million Acts of Kindness” program in the Anaheim Elementary Schools. They set acts of kindness goals for students to meet each semester. And when students and schools met those goals they held big rallies and celebrations.

Imagine for a Moment

Imagine that we decided as an industry to be the industry of kindness? What if we had a website where we recorded big and little acts of kindness, stories of kindness? What if we had kindness contests between departments and between communities?

What if we told the whole world about how we are the kindness industry?  

We Would Change the World!!!!

If we were the kindness industry, every older person would be delighted to move in. Every resident would have an amazing day, every day. Every team member would love coming to work. Everyone would want to come to work in the kindness industry. Every family member would be delighted to come visit. Every grandkid would be excited about visiting their grandparents.

And best of all, we could do this without spending hardly any money at all.

What do you think?