Tony Rossi, Director of Communications                                        

Kindness is Your Superpower

 

If you ever perform a good deed in public and ABC News correspondent Adrienne Bankert is

nearby, don’t be surprised if she approaches you to praise your act of kindness. She calls it her

mission in life to “make kindness famous.” That’s also the inspiration behind her new book “Your

Hidden Superpower: The Kindness That Makes You Unbeatable at Work and Connects You with

Anyone.” 

In the book, Adrienne recalls being on the street in New York City one day and seeing an African

American man with his arm around an elderly white gentleman, supporting him as they walked to a waiting cab. A bystander told Adrienne that after the older man had fallen down, the other man saw what happened and helped him up, making sure he was okay. After the taxi drove the older man away, Adrienne approached his helper to thank him for “doing the right thing.” He accepted the compliment humbly, believing he just did what anyone would have done. 

During a “Christopher Closeup” interview, I asked Adrienne why she thanks strangers for doing good deeds. She explained, “When I’m walking by people, I see them as part of this extended human family. And when I see them do a kind act, it’s so refreshing and hopeful…There are so many good people in this world, but they’re never going to get on TV…I want them to know that what they’re doing works and that other people do notice them…What if we encouraged kind people? Then they become kindness heroes, and they would be more prone to continue that good work that we need more of us to do.” 

Adrienne has lived an intentionally kind life since receiving the advice to do so from a mentor many years ago. She received one of her breaks in broadcasting not just because of her talent, but due to her reputation for being kind. “I watch people who are really kind or conscientious,” Adrienne said, “and they seem to provide that calm that helps all the parts work better together.” 

Kindness also builds connection and community. That can be especially important for people who feel shy or lonely. Adrienne said, “Every person on the planet…needs to feel like they belong somewhere. When you’re kind, you could open up a door to a friendship that you didn’t even know was there, and that can help you feel like you found your place…I’ll make friends with people on planes or on the street…What are the chances that I meet this person at the deli or at work or walking my dog? Let’s not think light of that. Maybe this was meant to be.” 

Gratitude is another key part in accessing kindness as your superpower. Adrienne recalled a stressful time in her life when her friend told to just “take a breath” to calm down. At first, she thought the suggestion was ridiculous. But she decided to follow the advice anyway. After taking three deep breaths, she realized, “Oh my goodness, if I’m not grateful for this breath, then how can I be grateful for the things I get to do while I’m still breathing?” 

That revelation allowed Adrienne to connect gratitude to kindness. If we can be kind in the little things – calling a friend or a customer not because you want anything from them, but to see how they’re doing – “that sign of appreciation allows you to be more conscious and intentional when it comes to the bigger things in life.” 

 

For free copies of the Christopher News Note KINDNESS COUNTS, write: The Christophers, 5 Hanover Square, New York, NY 10004; or e-mail: mail@christophers.org   

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