What It Means to Be a City of Kindness
Throughout the United States and the world many cities, organizations and businesses are recognizing the value of promoting kindness as an intentional effort. This realization has led to the formation of a City of Kindness movement.
City of Kindness is an international coalition of organizations and municipalities working to inspire kindness in the world. The primary goal of City of Kindness is to facilitate meaningful change by increasing acts of kindness within local organizations, including schools, businesses, civic and faith-based organizations, non-profits and government agencies, and among all city residents.
Acts of kindness help both the people who receive the kindness and those who offer the kindness. It’s not just a one-way street. Kindness can be measured and the results are startling. On a personal level, it can help decrease isolation and strengthen relationships. Caring relationships can help with depression, anxiety and loneliness, which are at crisis levels. On an organizational level, kindness can increase employee productivity, customer retention, employee wellness, and creativity. It makes any organization better. Finally, homelessness, the disparity of wealth, climate change, racism, infrastructure and more are all legitimate practical issues that demand our attention. However, when we apply kindness in the pursuit of solutions to those issues, we will improve our chances of making positive impact in our communities and workplaces.
KINDNESS IS CONTAGIOUS
The City of Miami Beach is a great example of a major city joining the international movement to become a City of Kindness. This initiative launched a robust citywide campaign to include kindness challenges among residents, city staff, Miami Beach schools, hotels and businesses.
The City of Anaheim saw juvenile arrest rates dropped from 6.46 per thousand to 1.41 per thousand in the six years after the city began its kindness campaign.
Prestigious media and organizations such as the Harvard Business Review, Inc., Time, CNN, and The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation are all reporting on the benefits of kindness, both to the well-being of an institution and the profitability of businesses.
The kindness movement has been endorsed and promoted by many cities and celebrities, including Ellen DeGeneres, the Dalai Lama and Lady Gaga.
THE SPREADING KINDNESS CAMPAIGN IN LANE COUNTY
In Lane County, the Spreading Kindness Campaign is a grassroots citizen’s initiative to create a culture of kindness, starting with Eugene and Springfield, Oregon. The campaign focuses on encouraging and reporting acts of kindness by local public and private organizations, as well as individuals.
HOW TO BECOME A CITY OF KINDNESS?
Increasing kindness can come from efforts of city officials, such as Tom Tait, former mayor of Anaheim, or from the ground up, as happened in Eugene and Springfield. Other cities can adapt the resources developed in Eugene and Springfield. Once the hard work of increasing kindness has been done, becoming an official City of Kindness is simple. To find out how, email firstname.lastname@example.org.