In January of this year, Anne Helen Petersen posted an article on Buzzfeed.news entitled How Millennials became the Burnout Generation and it has provoked a LOT of responses.
In reading some subsequent articles, I became aware of a public opinion poll conducted in 2018 by The American Psychiatric Association. They asked: “In general, are you more or less anxious than you were at this time last year?” and 39% of the respondents said YES, they were more anxious. It should also be pointed out that 39% of the respondents said that their anxiety level was “about the same,” while 19% said they were “less anxious” and 3% responded that they were “not sure.” While this information is true, it isn’t the whole story.
In a time of often polarizing views, it is good to keep an open mind. This has been the topic of some of the most forward- thinking people and organizations of our time. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, said “the smartest people are constantly revising their understanding and reconsidering a problem they thought they’d already solved. They’re open to new points of view, new information, new ideas, contradictions and challenges to their own way of thinking.”* (WGSN | Future consumer 2021, by Andrea Bell | 02.15.19)
One concept that most people can agree on is that there can always be more kindness in the world. That leads me to the idea that It’s a Sweet Life.
SXSW 2019 named “Deep Kindness” as one of their Big Ideas. But what exactly does that mean?
We’ve probably all heard about Random Acts of Kindness by now. These are things great and small that we randomly do for each other. We buy a cup of coffee for the person in line behind us, for example. It’s a great thing to do and we should continue that practice!
Active Kindness takes things to the next level by flipping “random” to “active.” An example would be, instead of volunteering with the local food bank just around a holiday, to volunteer with them on a more regular basis.
How can we make life “sweeter” for everyone? How can we be “actively” kind? This not just a personal philosophy to adopt, businesses are adopting idea this too.
Whether you are personally stressed out or not, there are a significant number of indicators in the world showing us that many in our society are stressed out. So, just like candy is sweet and sometimes makes us feel better, how can we do that for our customers and for our neighbors?
We are literally seeing candy used in many branding campaigns as a way to sweeten up an image, a set or a commercial. Candy is considered a “small happiness” because it is generally not too expensive (so it is accessible to many), it is colorful (so it catches your eye) and it makes a lot of us happy when we eat it!
We recently had a “Wellness Week” here at SanMar’s headquarters. Our Human Resources (HR) team put together an amazing group of activities for those of us who work here: from yoga classes to speakers with ideas on how to manage stress, to an activity where we could sip cider with our co-workers and color. The HR team is getting in on this trend of Deep Kindness as they share kindness from the inside to the outside of the company.
This is what business journals are talking about. Thriving companies are practicing kindness inside of their walls and that kindness is actively making it outside of their walls to their customer base. It’s a win-win for everyone!
So, don’t stress out. Practice some Active Kindness. It may make everyone feel better. It’s a Sweet Life.
Content compliments of SanMar. For more on this trend, click here.