Have you ever seen one of those amazing domino-toppling videos? An intricate pattern is set up and then the creator tips the first domino, beginning a dazzling display of movement, color, and pattern as all the dominos topple outward from that initial point. Visually, there is an incredible overall effect—but it all started with a single domino touching the one next to it, then that domino touching the one next to it, and so on.
Well, I’ve come to realize that we have the power of that first domino. The way we touch others every day has an impact (for good or ill) that ripples outward for a powerful widespread effect. Our actions and attitude can begin a chain reaction that creates beauty and harmony—or not so much. The impact reaches far beyond that one interaction.
We are all imperfect people, but I know we all want our impact to be positive and life-giving rather than the opposite. How do we do that?
In our research for The Kindness Challenge, we found that true kindness is a crucial “first domino” because it sets off an astounding chain reaction. In fact, kindness has a power to transform that is unparalleled in social science. The acts and attitudes of kindness change the essence of who we are…and then each of our relationships… and then everything around us. Like that first domino completely changes its environment, your kindness changes the world you live in.
Why is that? And how do we purposefully use it?