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Setting Our Minds to Being Kind

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One of my favorite quotes ever shared is from Maya Angelou: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

We have reached a critical point in humanity where we need to collectively take pause – as individuals, communities, companies, societies at large – and think about how our actions, or lack thereof, make others feel. We must ask ourselves the tough questions: Are we making people feel valued? Appreciated? Loved? Heard? Empowered? Inspired? Confident? Hopeful? In order to create a sustainable future where our economy, environment, and society prosper for years to come, everyone must search within themselves and do their part to create a better world for all.

#BeKind21 in 2021

For the second year in a row, SAP stands proud with Born This Way Foundation (BTWF) and its #BeKind21 campaign. BTWF was founded by Lady Gaga and her mom, Cynthia Germanotta. The foundation supports the mental health of young people, with a mission of creating a kinder, braver world. At SAP, our purpose is to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. With a caring work culture grounded in psychological safety, SAP aspires to a world with zero inequality where people genuinely care about each other and feel a sense of belonging. We see it as our responsibility to lead by example in removing the stigma around mental health disorders in the workplace, and kindness is a powerful lever to help get us there.

The Science of Kindness

Kindness has the power to turn darkness into light, cold into warmth, loneliness into connection. Acts of kindness – whether random or deliberate, small or large, simple or complex – make everyone involved feel good: the giver, the recipient, and even the observer. Science shows that kindness benefits our minds and our bodies. In fact, it tends to be contagious.

The healing powers of kindness are well documented and recognized by the world’s foremost medical experts. Did you know that performing – and even witnessing – small, simple acts of kindness can produce oxytocin, also known as “the love hormone,” and can improve our overall health and well-being? Kindness is also known to release dopamine, a feel-good brain chemical, and boost serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood. Similar to the type of high we feel when we exercise, being kind can lead to a “helper’s high.”

Imagine if we could spread kindness farther, wider, and faster than the speed of COVID-19. Do we have the power – as all of humankind – to counter the negative effects of the pandemic by killing it with kindness? I believe we do if we set our minds to it.

Join Us @LifeatSAP

From September 1st through the 21st, we’re curating acts of kindness from SAP employees all around the world and sharing them on our social channels.

  • Follow along with us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, or through the hashtags #LifeAtSAP and #BeKind21.
  • Make the #BeKind21 pledge. Sign up and generate your own #BeKind21 calendar to share on your personal accounts with the hashtags #LifeAtSAP and #BeKind21.

Julie Barrier is global vice president of Purpose and Sustainability Marketing at SAP.