As Cheryl Rice, founder of the You Matter Marathon, shared with me before today’s show, the roots of her campaign to spread kindness and empathy started in childhood, where she felt an absence of belonging.
We have all been there, where we felt excluded by choice or by chance, struggling to fit in and feel we matter.
When Cheryl established the You Matter Marathon (which, by the way, has nothing to do with running!) years later, she channeled that childhood experience to make a difference for others. The idea came to her when a colleague gave her a simple card that said, “You Matter.” Cheryl herself became inspired by how one simple act transformed her outlook and started handing out her own You Matter cards.
When Cheryl decided to expand the kindness initiative by creating the You Matter Marathon last year, 14,000 people in 50 states and 59 countries shared almost half-a-million cards. Many companies, schools, and community organizations benefited from participating. This brief video highlights some of the people involved.
In this #WorkTrends chat, we talked about empathy and how relationships can improve by infusing an compassionate approach to interactions.
We also discussed the fact that doing positive things, even simple ones, is good for us as individuals (physically and emotionally). It’s also good for our organizations, with the potential to improve morale and productivity.
“We’re living in a world where people crave connection, yet feel more isolated than ever. Every one of us is here for a reason. We are all essential. We need, and are needed by, each other,” says Cheryl.
To get involved, go to the You Matter Marathon site to order your own You Matter cards. There’s also a Facebook group available at this link.
Here are a few key points Cheryl shared:
- A feeling of belonging is critical to preventing conflict and tragedy
- Face to face interactions matter, even though social media is so pervasive
- People want, badly, to know that they matter
- The benefits of giving, empathizing, volunteering are physical and psychological
Did you miss the show? You can listen to the #WorkTrends podcast on our BlogTalk Radio channel here: http://bit.ly/2zpnbxR
You can also check out the highlights of the conversation from our Storify here:
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