Jan 10, 2018

A New Year and What That Means

This week marked 15 years since my dad’s passing. This anniversary coupled with the start of a new year had me in a very reflective mood. I’m sharing the note that I sent to the KIND Team last night.

KIND Team,

I came back from the winter break refreshed and energized. I tried my best over the last two days to personally share with every one of you my wishes for a great new year. To all of you that I didn’t get to shake your hand, I send you all my warmth through this note.

Yesterday was an unusual day for me. It marked the 15th anniversary of my dad’s passing. As most of you know, KIND and the mission of fostering kindness and building bridges among human beings was inspired by the example my parents inculcated in me, but in particular by my commitment to prevent what happened to my father – going through the Holocaust and being sent to a concentration camp as a young kid – from happening again to others.

While I miss my Dad tremendously and wish he could have seen all that we’ve been able to accomplish in his honor, I feel at peace and energized and positive about doing my best to follow his example.

To all of you, amidst all the challenges that humanity faces daily – from climate change to nuclear proliferation, from food scarcity that causes some to starve to consumption excesses that perturb all our senses and kills so many with inflammation, diabetes and obesity epidemics, from the resurgence of totalitarianism to the fear to speak one’s mind, from divisions abroad to divisions within – I share my hope that, together, we can continue making a positive difference. I hope that in 2018 we can increase our impact, both through the small actions every one of us can take, to the collective power the KIND family can deploy to make this a better world.

Whether we use our Hungry & KIND values to make our healthy and tasty snacks available to more people across the globe, whether we stretch ourselves to enter new categories with the KIND Promise, or whether we creatively find ways to expand our market share while extending our social impact, let us seize every moment of every day to be the best that we can be.

And as we value each other as the KIND Family, make sure to also prioritize and appreciate your own families – take nobody for granted, enjoy your loved ones, share how you feel, and soak them up every day. We all have a commitment to each other to work hard, but we have an even more important contract to ensure balance in our lives and with our loved ones.

With best wishes for 2018,

DL

 

LinkedIn Article Published January 10, 2018

Empathy          KIND

More from Daniel

2022 High Point University Commencement Address

Today, I want to talk about a light and fluffy subject: your generation’s role in steering humanity in the right direction. No pressure, Dalton. 

But in all seriousness, Dalton, I love what you shared about “leaving everywhere you go better than you found it…and finding ways to give grace and inspiration to the people around you.”  

I want to talk today about HOW to do that as you are all simultaneously challenged and blessed with graduating as our world is re-entering a stage of dramatic consequence. 

The ship of humanity is moving in the wrong direction, and it will be upon all of you to steer it back on track. 

To illustrate this point, I want to compare the circumstances when my father’s generation came of age, to those when my generation and your generation graduated from college. 

My father was fifteen-and-a-half when he was liberated from the Dachau concentration camp by American soldiers. He was barely alive.  He never got to go to school past third grade, let alone college. Several of your grandparents were around your age when they were sent to free Europe from tyranny and darkness. 

By contrast, when I was fifteen years-old, my family immigrated to America from Mexico. I was able to attend college during a period when passionate but cordial debate was the norm. I remember observing political leaders vehemently disagree on a particular topic, while maintaining a friendship rooted in respect. Our world was far from perfect – but the arc of human progress trended in an upward direction. Freedom, open markets, human rights, civility, and the quest for knowledge were all advancing.  

It seemed almost too good to be true.  In fact, it was so good that we began to lose sight that Our Great American Experiment isn’t so much a fixed state of affairs as it is a purposeful daily affirmation – something that we opt into, live out, and vote for not once every four years, but every single day – through how we engage with one another. 

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