Stephen Downes has stimulated some fascinating discussion in OLD. Today he linked (link) to Julian Stodd’s post on Kindness (link).

In his discussion of change, Julian observes:

“So there must be a humility in change: a recognition that the loading is unequal, and that if I am not carrying it, then you are. And if we cannot carry the weight together, then perhaps we can treat those that do with kindness.”

In search of further discussion of kindness, Stephen found Julian’s post from June 2017, A State of Kindness: A Shared Humanity (link). The picture illustration for this post comes from that 2017 post. In that article, Julian observes “somewhere along the line, we have accepted the marginalisation of kindness, normalised dispassion, and deepened the inequity of our society”. He adds “Kindness is relegated to a soft medicine, to be dispensed with grace, bestowed by the empowered” (link).

Julian concludes “we must find models of leadership that celebrate compassion and kindness. We much fight for equality through a recognition that society comes at a collective cost, and that if that cost is born by one individual, we collectively fail”.

The celebration of leadership’s and followership’s compassion and kindness is for me a compelling argument. They are leadership and followership through community.

By coincidence, just after reading Julian and Stephen’s discussion of kindness, I met a nurse from the Solomon Islands. The nurse was also a leading football official in the country. I mentioned my look at performance in European football, World Cup tournaments, Asian Cup, W-League, A-League, Matildas and Socceroos. I did not, to my regret, look at Oceania football. We talked about how the work was intended to support referees by quantifying the flow of games and accurately recording fouls and cards. These data were meant to be an unobtrusive support for referees. They were meant too for coaches and players who might regard play within the laws and the spirit of the game.

I mentioned that I was particularly keen to support women’s football, whom like referees suffered from the astigmatism of research that is only recently being addressed.

We concluded our conversation with a discussion of open sharing in a digital age. I use the Google online tools to record and share data: Sheets, Docs and Slides. Through GitHub (link) I am able to create repositories that make open sharing possible. I did not conclude our conversation with the points Julian made in his conclusion (in addition to community), namely, “we need a new State: a State that learns to be kind. Industry built on kindness.” My friend the nurse was returning to the Solomon islands with some proposals to change medical practice. He was also going to explore how I might be of service to him in his football role.

Both behaviours require change to occur … with those magic ingredients of humility and kindness.

Photo Credit

Poster (Julian Stodd)


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