I recently came across refreshing thoughts shared by Sir Richard Branson upon the passing away of his mother. “Rather than mourn her loss, I wanted to celebrate her wonderful life, her tremendous spirit, the joy she brought to so many, and the love she gave us”. These uplifting words gave me pause.

My mom passed away six years ago on January 30. I wrote, in part, for her eulogy:

Mom’s time on earth went by so fast,

In photo albums, I saw pictures from the past

In my memory, she will stay

And in my heart, I will pray

So she can hear, so that she knows

My love will always be with her

No matter how much time goes by.

It’s sad to let go,

It’s part of life, I guess.

Every year since then, I mark the anniversary in some personal way or other, to give life to those words. Sir Richard reminded me that mom was, above all else, kind. This kindness made her seem naïve and at times, probably uninteresting. Her kindness was not associated with some other accomplishment. No, mom was simply, kind. Her kindness though was remarkably selfless, like when expressed to a child. She never judged. She always listened. She was loyal.

Kindness is a virtue that somehow is overshadowed by success, especially financial and social. It should not be that way, as a kind person is trustworthy. Kindness is an essential building block to achieve trust, to build new relationships and a better world.

“I believe that in the end it is kindness and generous accommodation that are the catalysts for real change” said Nelson Mandela upon the founding of The Elders, in 2007.

Let us focus on things that truly matter. Let’s celebrate kind people!