After the coronavirus, lets make Cleveland Kindland: Edward Kraus and Stuart Muszynski – cleveland.com

MAYFIELD, Ohio -- During these times of daunting crisis, people are rethinking things as they look to the future. What will social gatherings look like? What will education look like? What will offices and businesses look like? All of these areas are up for grabs. People and companies are thinking out of the box because they have to in order to resume some semblance of normalcy.

Many people are also reflecting on life lessons: cherishing friends and family with new gratitude; appreciating service workers, delivery drivers, restaurant workers, hospital workers, grocery workers, teachers and first responders.

We have also seen abundant kindness: neighbors cheering neighbors; friends caring for the elderly; restaurants serving health care workers; strangers grocery shopping for newfound friends; random cars honking to celebrate birthdays. The list goes on.

Ellen DeGeneres observed on her show, that, This virus has us all isolated but the strength of human kindness means that we are not alone.

Edward Kraus is mayor of Solon.

Even corporations have extended kindness: bankers assisting businesses; mortgage companies and landlords giving abatements; insurance companies refunding premiums; and companies as diverse as Giant Eagle, FirstEnergy, Donatos and KeyBank advertising messages to comfort and inspire.

Media have been overflowing with good news about local heroes. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have documented inspiring stories about courage, caring and compassion. Many companies Cleveland Whiskey, Gojo, Thogus, Eaton, Lubrizol, Swagelok and others have altered production or collaborated to distribute hand sanitizer, safety shields and face masks.

This show of goodwill has created feelings of humanity and goodness despite otherwise grim numbers. Though there are economic disparities that cause stress for families trying to make ends meet, the overwhelming feeling is that people genuinely care.

When have we had this feeling of compassion before? During 9/11? A family wedding or funeral? Maybe never?

Stuart Muszynski is president and CEO of Values-in-Action Foundation.

Consider this new normal compared to the pre-pandemic world in which negative news abounded; insults overwhelmed Twitter; bullying inhabited schools; racism and anti-Semitism populated communities; and mass shootings happened every week.

While were rethinking: What would Cleveland look like if we sustained kindness, compassion and goodwill as the core values of our community?

What if Cleveland became Kindland? What would that mean?

For one, studies have shown that kindness has a viral effect, infecting at least three people in its wake. Kindness increases endorphins, which produce happiness and optimism; decreases cortisol, which produces stress; and increases longevity.

What company doesnt want kind workers? If Cleveland became Kindland and developed a reputation as a kind, respectful and responsible community, would this become an economic development draw? Would companies relocating gravitate to our region? Would kindness increase productivity and happiness among workers? Employee-engagement studies conducted by the University of California indicate that it would.

Prior to the coronavirus, we at Values-in-Action had already embarked on an initiative to make Cleveland Kindland asking leaders to become Leaders of Kindland, mayors to become Mayors of Kindland and citizens to become Citizens of Kindland committed to spreading kindness within the community. Many in Cleveland felt that this would be good for our image and our populace.

As we proceed to a new normal, we hope that citizens, leaders, nonprofits, government entities, companies and media join us in this endeavor. Lets not lose the good feelings we have engendered and the life lessons we have learned to return to business as usual. As we re-examine our lives and the future vitality of our region, lets commit to making Cleveland Kindland.

Edward Kraus, a board member of Values-in-Action Foundation, is the mayor of Solon. Stuart Muszynski is the president and CEO of Values-in-Action Foundation, a Cleveland-based character-education, kindness and leadership nonprofit serving 2,500 schools in all 50 states. To pledge to become a citizen of Kindland, go to http://www.viafdn.org/kindland

Have something to say about this topic?

* Send a letter to the editor, which will be considered for print publication.

* Email general questions about our editorial board or comments or corrections on this editorial to Elizabeth Sullivan, director of opinion, at esullivan@cleveland.com.

See the original post here:
After the coronavirus, lets make Cleveland Kindland: Edward Kraus and Stuart Muszynski - cleveland.com

Related Post

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.