Editorial: Sugg’s example inspires kindness

The cliché goes, “Nice guys finish last.” But nothing could be further from the truth. As we learned from the visit of Villanova alumna and Pulitzer Prize winner Diana Sugg, getting ahead in life does not entail stepping on everyone else along the way.

During Wednesday night’s lecture, Sugg took us into her confidence and let us understand what it has been like to cover death, crime, destruction, fear and violence as she wrote for a variety of newspapers, trying to tell the truth and wanting to make a difference. Although she still does not believe she has reached her ultimate journalistic goal, the one thing she was confident about was that kindness has taken her every step of the way.

In her work as a reporter and writer, Sugg has had to face many touchy, often unpleasant situations. Time and again, she relied on the openness and “niceness” of people to get at the truth and to do the best work she could. She noted that if she acted like stereotypical ruthless journalist, she would not have found the stories that lay within her own heart, her own “landscape.”

Sugg recounted situations she faced in covering stories in hospitals and dealing with grieving individuals who were initially reluctant to provide necessary information for completing a story on deadline. However, with persistency and benevolence, Sugg helped people tell their stories . . . and afterward, they were virtually always happy that they did.

Handling adverse situations in a gentle, understanding manner can reap countless benefits. You’ve heard the phrase “kill them with kindness”? Well that’s one way to approach a hostile situation.

Kindness really is more than just helping out other people; it is also an approach to our work and our daily lives that leaves everyone the better for the interaction. Others benefit from our pleasant demeanor, and playing fair enhances our own wellbeing-and maybe even our success.

The corporate ladder is often thought of as consisting of various rungs in which a person pass everyone else before reaching the top.

Yet perhaps this is not the case.

Maybe each step of the way is an opportunity to exercise kindness and compassion towards the people we encounter and the situations we face. When we play fair, others trust us and help us, and as a result, we can make a really significant impact.