My obsession with kindness started with a sand mandala.
I had seen a flyer at my local library branch for an event where a bunch of monks were visiting to construct one, so on a Saturday morning, I got into my car and drove over to see what it was all about.
I remember the cliche calm I felt as I walked into that room and witnessed monks on their hands and knees carefully arranging the grains of sand. The design was intricate and vibrant, and I remember thinking what a pity it was that in a few short hours, it would be purposely blown away.
There was a table nearby where some merchandise was for sale, so I walked around the nearly-completed mandala to see what was available.
My eyes gravitated to a handmade notebook and a bumper sticker that read, “Loving kindness is my religion. - Dalai Lama”.
I smiled. After a handful of years spent grappling with my identity within Christianity -- the religion I had been born and raised in -- it was so liberating to think that religion could be as clear cut as loving kindness.
I paid for my purchases, watched the Tibetan monks arrange the sand for a few more moments, and then exited the library.
It had spent no more than ten minutes there, but I had received more than what I had expected.
Several years later, as I was contemplating what my message really is, it occurred to me that my marketing methodology is actually based on kindness.
I want to see a kinder way of doing business in the world, and that’s why I’ve gravitated to marketing the way that I do -- a practice that’s based on integrity, taking care of people, crafting invitations, creating “little miracles”*, standing for something larger than myself or the organization, and saying thank you 35x a day.
This kind of marketing doesn’t appeal to everyone. There are many people who swear by more aggressive, full-frontal tactics, and I think that you should do what helps you stand in your integrity.
But what I believe right now based on what I’ve seen is that kind communication has the potential to change the world, and that’s the kind of movement I’d prefer to be a part of.
We can be kind and effective marketers.
We can be tender and tough entrepreneurs.
We can choose profits, people, and the planet.
We can step out of the box labeled success to do things differently.
This is a reminder that you have so much power to make an impact.
I beg of you: show us what’s possible.