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  • Writer's pictureDr. Neal Nybo

Kindness matters: Could being kinder have saved Elon Musk two billion dollars?

Elon Musk is was famous for inventing the greatest electric car of all time, the Tesla. He is putting rockets in space and reimagining the entire industry of solar power for homes.

He tried to help save the Thai boys soccer team. He was racing to get them a kid-sized submarine for goodness sake. Who knows how much that cost and how many hours his engineers put into it. He was willing to help if he could, not because it had anything to do with selling cars. That was kindness. It didn’t work out. The rescuers didn’t or couldn’t use his submarine. Thankfully, all the boys were rescued.

Then, one of the divers said something negative about Musk’s efforts and Elon just couldn’t restrain himself. He had to tweet something very negative about the diver who the rest of the world considers a hero. He has had to apologize. He has had stock owner groups make demands of him. And, his company’s stock lost two billion dollars the day after his unkind remarks.

When considering an action, please take a moment to ask yourself if there could be a kinder response. That little effort could save you so much trouble, pain, and suffering, even your job! I won’t even begin to talk about people who have lost their jobs because they committed unkind acts caught on video.

(Just an aside, this is free, no extra charge for the following advice)

If you do something unkind in public, like call the police for something trivial or yell at a barista at Starbucks, assume it will be videotaped and shared, possibly around the world. Let's try to remember that every person over the age of seven has a phone with a better video camera and editing software than NBC and CBS had not that many years ago.

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