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JCF Blog

To Be Kind Is More Important Than To Be Right

Posted by: Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford on 5/30/2018

I am in awe of a colleague. Not only does she have the kindest, most compassionate heart of almost anyone I know, she has an energy that attracts possibilities for her to perform extraordinary mitzvot every day. She doesn’t seek them out, they actually appear before her. I would say she is one of the rare people who truly sees the world with her heart. Her daily stories of “coincidence” are powerful messages of someone who pays attention to people and their innermost needs and struggles.

She told me a story one day of an elderly woman standing on the side of the road flagging her down as she drove by. She of course, stopped to see if she could help her. The woman was on her way to an appointment for a medical test at a nearby hospital and missed her bus. She needed to get to the hospital and so my colleague, Laura, took her. She didn’t have a phone or know any numbers to call. Laura, of course, couldn’t leave her there alone and so waited for her to finish so she could take her home. On their way home Laura asked her if she needed anything else. She had a few errands to run and so Laura took her to the bank and the drug store, and then took her home. She was incredibly grateful to Laura and offered her payment or lunch. Laura just smiled her beautiful smile and said, “nothing thank you, it was my pleasure.” 

When we think of the qualities of a leader, we think of a visionary perhaps, or an articulate orator that can motivate a crowd or a team. Perhaps we think of someone who can think “out of the box”, or can manage a project well.

I would like for us to think of leadership in a different way. True leaders lead with their actions. When we think about our most important lasting life lessons and journeys, we think not of the speeches and lectures we heard but rather of our own stories of perseverance and of moments of kindness and bravery. We often surprise ourselves at how we impact someone’s life as well as our own. When we slow down enough in our lives and let our hearts do our thinking, we are capable of profound change, for ourselves, for others and for our community.

We can find enough books and how-to’s about leadership to fill many buildings. We can attend workshops and debate the qualities of a true leader. For me, I think “what would Laura do?” and I know I will follow the right path.

I’ve always loved this quote that makes me think of Laura, “To be kind is more important than to be right. Many times what people need is not a brilliant mind that speaks but a special heart that listens.”

We are grateful to have Laura as our colleague at the Jewish Community Foundation. As a community we are thinking about how we should be welcoming to everyone who enters our doors. When you walk into the Foundation office and Laura greets you with her smile that comes from her heart, you know you are in a place where you are welcome and at home.

Thank you Laura for teaching us all a lesson about every-day Tikkun Olam.

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Frederick M Molod
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0 Points
A well told story. Simple and profound. The writer recognizes the humanity involved, and teaches us the principals of Judaism and humanity.
elaine kaufmann
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A beautiful quotation for a beautiful person. Laura, for certain, is special.
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