Beverly Hills Fosters Kindness Through Transformative Initiatives
The Golden Rule in any language tells us that we should do unto others that which we want done unto ourselves.
The City of Beverly Hills is now in the midst of two transformative initiatives centering on kindness – one on behalf of the Human Relations Commission and another launched by the mayor’s office.
“Kindness is at the root of every single culture, in every world religion, in every country and in every age, it’s the base of the Golden Rule, as we know it. There isn’t anybody who doesn’t talk about it, from Confucius to Audrey Hepburn,” said Beverly Hills resident Rochelle Ginsburg at a recent City Council meeting, who together with her husband, Eli, became the sixth recipient to be awarded the mayor’s Kindness Recognition.
The city’s Kindness Recognition is designed to recognize residents who have shown acts of kindness within the community and typically go out of their way to make positive contributions to those around them.
This coming Tuesday, Boy Scout Troop 110 will become the seventh recipient to be honored by the City Council since Mayor John Mirisch launched the initiative earlier this year in tandem with being sworn in for his third term as mayor this past March.
“I think it’s great that with scouts they’re taught to do an act of kindness everyday [and] they embody the spirit of what we’re trying to promote,” Mirisch said.
When Mirisch was first elected to the City Council in 2009, he ran on the platform of “Residents First.” Now in his third term on City Council, Mirisch has a kaleidoscopic understanding of the City of Beverly Hills as few do.
“Who wouldn’t want to be a city of kindness?” he proffered, referencing the words of Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait, who launched a similar initiative in his city, with 2011’s “Year of Kindness” campaign prompting over a million acts of kindness in the City of Anaheim.
“It all comes back to what is our vision for our city,” Mirisch continued. “We are all connected and we [should] remember that we’re all unique, special individuals who have our own quirks, needs and ideals. Kindness is also toleration. It makes the city a better place.”
Since the Human Relations Commission was founded almost 19 years ago, the commission has worked to foster greater civility and kindness within the city from its annual Embrace Civility Award to last year’s launch of Kindness Week in February.
“Civility has always been the core of the commission,” said Human Relations Chair Annette Saleh. “It’s always been about promoting civility.
It’s in our mission statement. Our tenet is to promote positive human relations in community life.”
Since taking over as commission chair earlier this year, Saleh has begun each commission meeting with commissioners sharing stories of recent acts of kindness within the city. In addition, the commission recently formalized a process to review kindness endorsements en route to providing recommendations for the mayor’s Kindness Initiative.
In a similar vein as the mayor’s kindness recognition, the Human Relations Commission is preparing to select its 8th annual Embrace Civility Award recipient. Those wishing to make an immediate nomination can still do so by the close of business today, Friday, Sept. 6, at http://beverlyhills.org/embracecivilityaward.
The Commission will vote and make a selection at its upcoming meeting on Sept. 19 with the recipient to be honored at a City Council meeting in October.
“This award is so meaningful because we celebrate individuals or groups in the community who are role models of positive behavior; they support and respect responsible actions, they promote positive neighbor to neighbor relations,” Saleh said. “It’s important because it inspires others to do the same.”