“I might as well be invisible”

Apr 05, 2024

After a busy day presenting in New York City weeks ago, I rushed in a taxi to get to the train station on time.  I had a few seconds to check my email before heading down the steps into Penn Station and sadly the news was not what I wanted.  One of the biggest speaking opportunities fell through and they selected the other finalist.  Immediately negative thoughts poured in. 

“Why wasn’t I good enough?”  Was I priced too low or too high?  Did they not like a message I shared online?  What did I do wrong? 

I was ready to have my own pity party in which I was the guest of honor.

And then…. I saw this.

A homeless man outside of the train station had a sign that said “I might as well be invisible”.   His sentiments kicked me out of my “poor me” mentality, into thinking about this gentleman. 

“I see you.”

I handed him a dollar and a gratitude stone.  I told him the purpose of the stone and how I believed it would bring protection and good thoughts.  He graciously accepted and brought the stone to his heart while offering a THANK YOU.  He asked, “what’s your name?”.  I told him mine and he used it.  What’s your name?  Foo, he said.  

“Nice to meet you Foo.”  “Nice to meet you Bart.”

He was seen.  It made a difference. 

All human being crave connections.  All of us can help to satisfy what other people need simply with KINDNESS and common DECENCY.

Selfishly, by focusing on Foo, I was no longer worried about me in my own head.  There would be and have been plenty of new opportunities that were even better.

This interaction encouraged me to develop and share an extremely popular PRESENTATIONAL WORKSHOP called “The KINDNESS QUOTIENT and DOING DECENCY”. 

We all have heard people talk about IQ and EQ… which are important in today’s society. While we may be super smart (Intelligent Quotient) and understanding (Empathy Quotient), it is even more powerful to understand HOW OUR ACTIONS TOWARD OTHERS CAN BENEFIT MANY (and not just ourselves).

This is where the concept of KINDNESS AND DECENCY is game changing. Very few people, if any, except our organization are talking about “KQ and DQ”.

The Kindness Quotient is defined as an individual’s capacity to embrace and exude acts of kindness, understanding, and consideration for others’ well-being.

Doing Decency (or Decency Quotient) is a measure of commitment toward ethical behavior, integrity, and respect for others. When we look at the value of both, from an individual lens of Kindness and from an organizational lens of Decency, the combination is invaluable.  Happy to share more if you know of group that would benefit by hearing more about this topic (email me, [email protected]).

For now, a challenge for you to create your own little KINDNESS QUEST for next week:  I’m so curious for you to share HOW IT MAKES YOU FEEL and how DOES IT HELP OTHERS?

  1. Look for someone that could use an extra hand and give it.  Help someone.  Open a door, pick up paper, or buy a coffee.
  2. Write a handwritten note, and even better, mail it to someone that needs it.  My mother just got 8 postcards in the mail last week from my birthday celebration’s KINDNESS QUEST, in which my relatives and I had to complete kindness tasks in the National Gallery of Art.  One task, find and buy a postcard and mail it to Ellie Berkey.
  3. Randomly flip through your contacts on your phone and call someone you haven’t talked to forever.  Let them know you were thinking about them, without a need for anything in return.