October - Be Kind

October 1, 2018 Katie Prellwitz

Hello Team -

Every month for the past few years, I’ve shared some thoughts with you about my personal values and those I want for us to embody at OneDigital. While I try to keep politics and religion out of my messages I hope you don’t mind me sharing some personal reflections from my spiritual experience this past month. Over the last few weeks, my family and I observed the Jewish New Year as well one of the holiest of holidays in the Jewish religion, Yom Kippur, also known as the “Day of Atonement.” This is a day of introspection and forgiveness. It encourages a commitment to consciously work on our shortcomings, make amends for past transgressions and begin the new year with a fresh outlook. During this time, I find myself reflecting on ways in which I can be a better father, son, husband, friend, co-worker and leader. I usually think about the important relationships in my life and how I might better fulfill the expectations I have set for myself. This year, however, I also find myself thinking about the simple impact we can have on others, even those that may not be very close to us.  

At the conclusion of our Yom Kippur service this month, our Rabbi shared a sermon that moved me to think beyond my normal reflections. I would be less than truthful if I told you that sermons are always the highlight of my time in synagogue. In fact, I often find myself resting my eyes during a long sermon (maybe what some of you have experienced in a few of my town halls) before being interrupted by an elbow from my wife to pay attention. This year, however, the message that our Rabbi shared about kindness seemed so simple but yet so profound that I continue to think about it daily. Her message not only encouraged kindness but also reminded me that the simplest of interactions can make a difference in the lives of others and sometimes to individuals that we may hardly know. While these interactions may seem so minor to us, they often turn out to be much more meaningful to those we encounter.

As I listened to our Rabbi, I found myself thinking about the fact that we really never know what those around us may be experiencing beyond our line of sight. Her words reminded me that everyone has “a story,” and unfortunately we often do not take the time to understand what those stories are. We do not know what’s beneath the surface of the stranger we sit next to on an airplane who may have just lost a loved one or the coworker we pass in the hall who is going through a difficult time. While we likely never know the true impact of how we respond and behave in those random moments, we do in fact have the opportunity to make a difference even in these seemingly minor encounters. We all have bad days when we say things we regret or don’t say anything at all, but it’s important to understand the impact that a kind remark or a warm smile can have when we least know it.

This has been an amazing year for OneDigital for which I am incredibly proud and thankful. We are experiencing one of the most significant growth years in company history, and more important than our financial growth is the talent and the culture we continue to foster. While we have so much to be thankful for, during this time of reflection, I aim to be more mindful of those around me, to take the time to listen and learn more about the many stories that surround me and to share some humble kindness even in the simplest of interactions.

I hope you will all join me in aspiring to do more and to make an impact in the easiest of ways. We can start by BEing Kind, one act at a time.

Adam

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