A caring mindset does not happen overnight. You don’t just wake up with it one day. Sure, it’s possible to have an indifferent mindset and then develop a caring one. This usually happens when someone has an experience so profound it literally changes them.
I have seen this happen to myself and I’m sure you have too. However a caring mindset can be reinforced in each of us as we grow and mature.
A caring mindset can become second nature.
My wife Malini and I try to reinforce the components of a caring mindset – straightforwardness, thoughtfulness, accountability and having resolve – in our own children.
My inspiration to do this comes from the lessons I learned from my father, my mother and my grandfather when I was young. I make a concerted effort to pass these lessons to my own son and daughter.
My wife and I drive home the importance of accountability and empathy through the foundation we set up to help the poorest of the poor. We hope that one day one of our own children will run the foundation to help them understand what a caring mindset is. We make sure they understand how fortunate they are and how many more people are less fortunate.
This helps them understand the importance of accountability and empathy. Here is what I mean.
During a trip to Calcutta in India, we arranged a visit to a nonprofit organization that sponsors a free primary school for underprivileged children. The visit impacted both of our children in a deep way because it was so different from what they experienced in the US. Each day about 400 kids attend this school so they can receive an education they probably would not otherwise get. For most of them, the lunch they receive is their only meal of the day.
On the day of our visit, my children helped to distribute oranges to the kids. We arranged to donate the fruit, a rare and welcome treat for the schoolchildren. Our own kids left understanding the importance of helping others.
They understood that being accountable to others and empathizing with them is an essential part of having a caring mindset. They understand how something as simple as an orange can have too much meaning.
Everyone has a story.
It is important that you understand what that story is so you can empathize with others.