A Call for “Kindness”

Written by Vanessa Lohf for ACES Connection. 

As I’m writing this, Kansas has confirmed its 15th case of the novel coronavirus and our teams have switched to telecommuting for the foreseeable future. At the same time, our public health and healthcare partners are working tirelessly to protect our families, friends, and neighbors – some bravely putting themselves in harm’s way to keep others safe. This also likely means they aren’t the most popular people in our communities as we are asked to institute “social distancing” and stay away from public gathering spaces. As we lead our work with helping others become more Trauma-Informed in how they conduct their work, I’m reminded that the process challenges us to be more kind to others – and that “kind” and “nice” are not always the same thing. Setting clear expectations and enforcing them can be a form of kindness…but it doesn’t necessarily feel “nice”. Add to that the anxiety, fear and worry that many of us are experiencing and we may find it difficult to be either of these things…