Building a kinder academia - some examples of how to do that — R Voice

Building a kinder academia - some examples of how to do that

chris leonard
chris leonard Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 168 admin

This thread was an eye-opener to me:

There is a lot to absorb in this thread and the links off it. My question is: What can you do to make academia a kinder place for all?


  • Kakoli Majumder
    Kakoli Majumder Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 341 admin
    edited November 2021

    I'm so glad you started this thread @chris leonard! The tweet you shared is indeed an eye opener - truly, little acts of kindness do make a difference and putting these into practice in our day to day lives is not really a big deal. But collectively, these definitely will make academia a kinder place for everyone. It's a great idea to start listing these acts so we can put them into practice. Here's what I can think of off the top of my head:

    1. Kindness might be offering a cup of coffee or even a glass of water to an overworked colleague.
    2. Kindness might be checking in on your colleagues with a simple "how are you" and then truly listening to their response
    3. Kindness might be appreciating others for small achievements
    4. Kindness is respecting others' time and not making last-minute requests or cancellation
    5. Kindness is extending deadlines when you can
    6. Kindness is providing positive and constructive feedback
    7. Kindness is being inclusive
    8. Kindness is being fair-minded and treating others with respect

    Could you list a few others? @Yufita Chinta, @Asli Telli @Adaora Anyichie - Odis @Mdumiseni Mazula @Oladele Campbell @Hazel Monica Peralta @Soumi Paul @Karen Hall @Claudia Herrera @Shruti Turner

  • Asli Telli
    Asli Telli Member Posts: 42 ✭✭✭

    Thanks for this @chris leonard and @Kakoli Majumder . Definitely needed this week since we have been facing a defamation issue in a close-knit community of academics. It is so easy to move over boundaries when one feels broken, angry or dissappointed due to the systemic challenges in academia. However, it is not that easy maintaining serenity and kindness under stressful conditions. The list above is fantastic; let me try to add a few:

    -Kindness is welcoming the newcomers and make them feel a part of the community

    -Kindness is making time to meet colleagues outside work or during breaks

    -Kindness is recognizing kindness when it is there and being thankful to the people around you

    -Kindness is being open, honest and forgiving to people.

    Hang in there, everyone and be kind to each other:)

  • Kakoli Majumder
    Kakoli Majumder Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 341 admin

    Thank you @Asli Telli! I'm sorry that you're going through a stressful phase - true, it's easy to overstep boundaries when you're under stress. But I'm glad you made time for this little exercise. Even thinking about kindness can be soothing when you've been under stress for a while. Thank you for making some really valuable additions to the list! It's so important to make newcomers feel welcome - I remember how relieved I had felt when a colleague came up to me on my first day at work and asked me to join them for lunch. 😊Meeting colleagues outside of work or during breaks is something we're missing every day now. When I sit at my home office alone every day, how I wish my work friends were around to chat with over coffee!

  • Hazel Monica Peralta
    Hazel Monica Peralta Member Posts: 11 ✭✭

    Thank you very much for starting such a thread here...surely all these kind words will lift up tired and overworked soul.. and if I may add a few more..

    Kindness is volunteering your time to help a colleague in a task or two to ease her/his workload

    Kindness is spending few minutes of your time to send a message of encouragement/inspiration to colleagues few times in a week (someone may need it at any particular time)

    Kindness is giving a co-worker a present as token of appreciation even in no particular season or celebration

  • Yufita Chinta
    Yufita Chinta Member Posts: 167 ✭✭✭✭

    I love all the answers from @Kakoli Majumder @Asli Telli and @Hazel Monica Peralta

    let me re-post the question by @chris leonard : What can you do to make academia a kinder place for all?

    as student/researcher, I'd like to be constantly and honestly kind.

    It is easy to welcome and be nice to others when we meet them at the first time, but then hard after we interact more, even harder because of each characters. There, find myself to be truly kind during interacting with others is hard 😐️ But I try to be, believe me 😊

  • Kakoli Majumder
    Kakoli Majumder Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 341 admin

    You got some beautiful ideas there Hazel! I love the one about sending an encouraging/inspiring message to colleagues a few times a week. It really takes very little effort, but as you said, if might just land up in their inbox just when they need it and might just help lift their spirits and help them make it through the day. In fact, I woke up feeling really low this morning, for no real reason actually, other than all the news about the new virus strain. But reading your comment is already making me feel a little better. Thank you!❤️

  • Hazel Monica Peralta
    Hazel Monica Peralta Member Posts: 11 ✭✭

    You are most welcome @Kakoli! I feel glad that somehow, by doing something that seems so small and irrelevant, someone felt comforted.

  • Adaora Anyichie - Odis
    Adaora Anyichie - Odis Member Posts: 128 ✭✭✭✭

    Kindness can be in form of reaching out to people you haven't seen or heard from them in a while.

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 943 admin

    You're so right @Adaora Anyichie - Odis. Sometime, just checking on someone makes them feel loved and reassures them that they aren't alone and that someone out there cares about them. It's important for us to check on our people, even the ones who seem to be doing "fine".