An odd thing happened last night one day after we finally launched BEKINDR. Let me explain. I took my daughter to see The Big Short. She is in her early twenties and was born with a complicated medical condition. I credit her from making me a kinder, more patient, and better person. She is an integral part of the #bekindr team, and in fact was the one who decisively selected the name BEKINDR.
The Big Short is an informative and powerful movie about colossal unkindness of the individuals responsible for the recent economic collapse. Yes, unkindness on an possibly unprecedented scale. No, I don’t think these bankers, brokers, raters, and government officials thought about their actions in terms of kindness or unkindness, but how different would or could the world be if they stopped to think in these terms?
We are all connected. What makes humans so unique is our ability to modify our world, a task that requires cooperation. Fire, creating shelter, domestication of animals, the printing press, transportation, and the internet are all ways of connecting us. Jonathan Zittrain in his fascinating TED talk postulates that what might be the greatest transformative power of all time, the internet, is simply a collection of random acts of kindness. Together we are better. Alone we perish.
We left the movie walked a friend to his car. It was dark and drizzling. I was in the middle of explaining to my daughter the concept of the black swan. The idea is that it is difficult for people to predict events that they haven’t seen and easier for them to predict that the future will remain the same. This concept is central to understanding the housing crisis as so few were able to foresee a collapse that in hindsight looks so obvious. But since no one had seen it before, very few were abel to imagine that outcome. Instead, billions of people did what they do best, they predicted that the future would look like the past and they erroneously thought the housing market would continue to soar.
At the very moment we were discussing the black swan, a large black Mercedes SUV pulled into the alley. I expected that it would slow down as it approached us as we were just crossing the street. It didn’t. In fact, it sped up. My daughter grabbed my elbow and pulled me to the side. I am not going to be dramatic and say it missed me by inches, because it didn’t, but it did miss me by about two feet. Quite startling indeed
My point of sharing this story, is that there is much unkindness out there and it can cause massive devastation. We were already shaken by the movie and then as my daughter said, “We saw our lives flash in front of us.”
BEKINDR was launched just yesterday to try to combat these forces. Today, I want to express my extreme gratitude to all of you who are here with my daughter and myself on our journey to try to create, enhance, and nourish more kindness in our world
And if anyone knows the driver of the black Mercedes SUV who was in South Beach (Miami Beach, FL) driving behind Epicure Market at 10:20 Saturday night, January 16, 2016, I hope you can ask them to join our community. We live in a very small town and a small world, and we must learn to honor ourselves and our powerful interconnections.