TEDxPortland is a non-profit “dedicated to ideas worth spreading.” In a collaboration with KGW News, TEDxPortland recently aired a special on “Kindness & Community.” This was the second in a series of episodes aimed to further the TEDxPortland mission of sharing ideas, cultivating community, and celebrating stories of growth and positivity.
Kindness & Community
The “Kindness & Community” special aired on KGW News on Wednesday, October 28th, 2020. During this episode, the TEDxPortland crew and guests discussed how to run a city, a school, a business, a life, motivated by kindness, noting that each one of us has the capacity to make positive change.
The first speaker was our very own, Tom Tait, former Mayor of Anaheim, California, and the inspiration for the City of Kindness initiative. When Tait ran for Mayor, he ran on a “platform of kindness,” that he carried over into his administration.
During his talk, Tait shared what inspired him to lead with kindness, noting some words of wisdom spoken to him by Doctor Jaievsky. This man had caught Tait’s attention, after placing signs around town that stated “Simply Make Kindness Contagious.” These signs sparked a conversation, during which Tait recalled Dr. Jaievsky explaining, “In medicine, you can either treat the symptoms or you can stimulate the body to heal from within, holistically. I think the same principle applies to a city, either treat the symptoms or stimulate the city to heal from within, holistically.” Dr. Jaievsky went on to state, “I think that has something to do with kindness.”
These words rang so true for Tait, that he committed himself to putting them into practice during his time leading as Mayor. And his efforts campaigning for kindness have not gone unnoticed. In fact, they have spread, creating a ripple effect of cities putting kindness at the forefront of policy, Portland being one of them!
Tait was just one among several other guests who were invited to share their perspectives throughout the remainder of the TEDxPortland episode on “Kindness & Community.” Asia Greene, a spoken word performing artist shared a piece, highlighting her belief that changing the world starts by changing ourselves. Kate Thresher, a Portland local and aspiring comedian shared her thoughts on being kind to yourself, stating that self-kindness is the starting point to “create the kindness you deserve in your life.” Even the Audi Beaverton crew of Portland spoke of the importance of kindness being your driving force, demonstrating their efforts towards leading by example in their community.
The TEDxPortland episode was jam-packed full of ideas on how to lead with kindness in all aspects of day to day life. TEDxPortland Alumni, Kary Youman, put it beautifully when sharing one of his favorite quotes, “We rise by lifting others.” Youman elaborated on why these words mean so much to him, explaining that it’s through kindness and genuine interest in the wellbeing of others, that we create space for connection, trust, empowerment, and authenticity. So ask questions, stay curious, and care about each other; and in these little selfless moments, we can truly change the world.