Regional Vice President, Platform & Revenue Cloud at Salesforce
"The opportunity to wear the Kindness Hoodie "Dangula" came from some unlikely connections.
Serendipity has played a big part in my life, sometimes it has been very good and on occasions very bad.
It has always come just when I feel like I can't give anymore and it is in those moments where I am reminded about the life that I want to live.
I have had two core kindness mentors in my life - one for the first 15 years of my life and the second since I was 15 years old - my wife.
She once said to me “All I want you to do for me is be kind”. To which I thought was very easy and replied “I am very kind” in a direct kind of way.
“That” she said “is not very kind”!
This and her ongoing well timed reminders have taught me that kindness is in the eyes of the beholder.
It is also one of the best lubricants of trust and is at the centre of everything great that has happened in my life. It has taught me to be more present and meet people where they are at in their lives, to ask more questions and have fewer statements and always be present and turn up even if others have opposing views.
Kindness is a force that I can feel.
I am a huge fan of AIME and everything that it stands for. When I was asked about wearing one of the Kindness Hoodies I felt a great responsibility to take this seriously…I also understood that a core part of this mission was to create kindness even when no one is watching.
There is a great word in ancient Greek “Philotimo” that loosely means doing the right thing all the time. The time to do the right thing is when no one is watching and this I believe helps me to be grounded and have good character.
Wearing the hoodie for the week spontaneously ignited conversations everywhere I went. I loved working towards the milestone of handing it over and having a single goal of as much kindness as possible.
In New York when I wasn't wearing the hoodie, a stranger came up to me and told me that I 'exude kindness'. I wonder if subconsciously I was occupying an element of kindness and it activated his attention (and all my life I heard that nothing great happens after 3am).
I wore the hoodie to many events and meetings so had many questions about what it was and who was AIME. I had some incredible conversations about AIME and its mission and philosophy.
There was not one kind thing I did that stood out. Everything that i did had a kind focus and it seemed to be rubbing off on everyone around me. Spontaneous acts of kindness happened that ranged from saving a chair for my colleague to spending time offering mentoring and reflections to people that have supported me for so long. The hoodie ignited so many amazing moments and conversations. It became a billboard for special moments and reminders to be kind to each other.
Bestowing this hoodie to the next person was quite emotional. When I handed it over to Julie, she started crying. She was a person that I used to mentor in the UK and we had been through a lot together.
I gave it to her because I always enjoyed the conversation that I had with Julie and love what she represents. I am sure she is going to do the journey justice.
I love the Kindness Hoodie. The whole journey, the person to person approach and the framing. It is an experience that will stay with me forever."