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MESA County

Kindness Challenge

 

How do we reverse the politically polarizing environment we find ourselves in?”

 

This question posed to our community “Junto” (Together) group  in Grand Junction was a good one. We evaluated our community: What was working? What was not? Where was there hope for change?

While there are many things that can be done to improve our community, we realized the greatest and most universal need was for human reconnection. That begins with kindness; intentionally being friendly, generous and considerate of others, no matter who they are or what they believe.

The Mesa County Kindness Challenge is a blueprint in doing just that — purposefully being aware of those around us and choosing to be helpful and supportive. It begins a process of building community that has been damaged by fear, isolation and anger. It may seem simplistic, but it is most profound in its effects.

Try it out! See if it doesn’t improve your outlook, effectiveness and quality of life at home, in your workplace or school and in our community of Grand Junction!

 

The Kindness Challenge Team:

Robin Brown, Antonio Clark, Cody Davis, Steven Erichsen, Sonia Gutierrez, Jim Hale, Will Hays, Mona Highline, Dominic Jones, Jeff Kuhr, Chris Mahre, Stacy Mascarenas, Joe Neuhof, Dusti Reimer, Janet Rowland, Jay Seaton, Errol Snider, Lance Timbreza, and Derek Wagner

 

 

                                                                Community Kindness Challenge

 

1- Start a conversation seeking to understand rather than to be understood.  Ask questions, listen, and genuinely take interest in the responses.

 

2- Listen without preconceiving your response. Understand their perspective before speaking. People often self-counsel as they talk and you may not need to say anything.

 

3- Speak about your perspective with kindness. If there is strong disagreement, affirm the others right to their opinion. Take “winning” off the table.

 

4- Acknowledge others. Make everyone you encounter feel like an equal- wave, say hello, make eye contact, hold the door open, etc.

 

5- Approach those around you with appreciation. Everyone is unique, with different experiences, talents, skills and perspectives; even the angry ones. Everyone has something to say that’s worth consideration.

 

6- Be kind to yourself. Let go of stresses and burdens that are beyond your control. Take a walk, pet a dog, play with your kids. It’s difficult to be kind to others if you’re anxious and on edge.

 

7- Do what you can to help. There may not be anything you can do, but just caring enough to actively listen can be a healing and encouraging influence all by itself.

 

8- If you are a person of faith, or of none, pause and reflect in prayer or meditation. As humans, we all need a sense of connection to something greater than ourselves for peace, comfort and inspiration, whether that be in God or some other source.  Human kindness and being part of a greater purpose is very powerful.

 

9- Take a break from social media. Limit your negative relational and media influences. Choose hope.

 

10- Resist the impulse to see those on the opposite side of the political spectrum as your enemy. Understand that we are a tribal species whose brains are susceptible to dividing the world in and “us-versus-them” way. Don’t fall for it; we’re all humans with the same hopes, fears, desires, dreams and needs.

 

11- Pause before hitting send. Take a breath. Wait 24 hours and then reconsider sending.

 

12- In a world where you can be anything, be kind.

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