“Little deeds of kindness;
Little words of love;
Make our earth an Eden;
Like the heaven above”
In my ethics class, I have observed something in almost every case we treated. I observed that every company that put making money before ‘the smile’ got exited from the scene early.
Cases we have examined
We examined Martha Stewart Living Media (MSLO).
We saw how the company was at the verge of closing up in one day, because she thought about only herself.
Let us look at USB that lost over US$ 2.3 billion in one day. This happened because one person did not think about the frowns he could put on people’s face
On the other hand, we looked at companies like HSBC. We saw how they gave out their old furniture to schools and hospitals in developing countries. It cost the company more to execute this, but they were willing to put a smile on people’s faces.
As I sat in class, I imagined the magnanimous smile on that child’s face in Primary 2. She went home on Friday after she stood all day under the mango tree to learn from her teacher. I imagined her walk to class on Monday and see new chairs provided by HSBC. You can bet she refused to go out for break so that nothing happens to her chair.
Or do we make reference to the smile on that old man’s face that had been diagnosed with stage-4 cancer? He lived all his life in penury, he did not have money to get proper bed to sleep at night. I imagined him sleep on the bedding provided by HSBC and was grateful to die in peace.
As we all know, HSBC is more than 150 years, carrying out its business while putting smiles on faces.
We looked at Southwest Airlines and how they survived the 9/11 crises that affected the airline industry.
Apparently, the company had built a structure that enables everybody feel valued. The customers, employers, employees and even MBA students that read about them could testify that Southwest was a place to work in. (LBS should have brought Southwest Airlines to our career fair yesterday; I would have applied 10 times!)
I remember from the case that the company did not lay off any staff while other companies did so. It is interesting to note that Southwest Airlines remained the most profitable airline during that period. Southwest is known for its three themes- love, fun and efficiency. This is not just cheap talk, they live up to expectations!
Sometimes I wonder, “How can a smile make you smile? Why should a gift cheer your entire day? How does the thought of a loved one warm your heart?”
Two days ago, I was on my way to school and I saw some children playing on the road. The older sibling was sprinkling water in the younger ones and they were just laughing. I looked at the older sibling with a very happy smile that showed I was interested in their game. Then, I told her to stop pouring water on them. She looked at me with an ambitious cheery smile and said “aunty, you look very beautiful.”
I felt good hearing that from her, but more than that, she does not know that she made my day. She set me on a good path for my day. I was cheerful to everyone around me and I received good vibes from everyone too.
When I got back, I saw the relationship between kind acts and how our day could play out. I saw how a discourteous bus driver can ruin your day, or a sharp rebuke dampen your mood or a smile light up your world.
I have come to the conclusion that “a little drop of kindness, a little smile makes the world go round.”
Photo credit- unsplash