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Kindness Initiative

Kindess Initiative Updates

-- Saturday, Feb 17th --

“Random Acts of Kindness Day was first created in Denver, Colorado in 1995 by a small nonprofit organization, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation; nine years later, in 2004, it spread to New Zealand. Random Acts of Kindness can include just about anything, including something as simple as taking a tray of muffins to work.Read more

Over the kindness project, we’ve talked about the benefits of kindness to ourselves and our workplace. However, knowing something is good for us is not always enough to get us moving upon a path of self-improvement.... Read more

One of the important concepts in fostering and supporting a culture of kindness is that of allyship.  Both the English word ally and the Spanish word aliada come from the Latin word "alligare" meaning "to bind... Read more

Rubin Kindness Program 

At Rubin, we have always believed that promoting a culture of kindness will contribute to a positive reinforcement of happiness among our workforce, reinforce other aspects of our working culture, and lead to positive outcomes for both individuals and our organization. To promote and encourage kindness in the workplace, we are building upon the Ben's Bells program, which was initiated at Rubin Observatory by Daniel Calabrese, Rubin Observatory Senior Manager, and then extended in collaboration with NOIRLab to broaden awareness and participation. In the short term, we hope to encourage participation in a culture of kindness by helping our community recognize the benefits of kindness at work and in life, and by providing helpful ways for people to increase their practice of kindness. We will also look for ways that we can provide recognition for acts of kindness and celebrate improvements to our working culture.

Suggested Video:


Watch as Mark Kelly talks about how acts of kindness can improve your life in this short (~6 minutes) TEDx talk. 

Why Kindness?

Many employees around the world suffer from workplace stress. A 2019 study [1] found that nearly 1 in 3 women in Chile reported psychological distress at work, and according to a survey of US workers, about 94% of workers reported feeling stressed at work, with about a third reporting high to unsustainably high levels of stress [2]. Numerous studies have shown that this stress leads to a lower quality of life and reduced productivity. It can lead to physical effects such as headache, insomnia, high blood pressure, among other effects [3]. Studies have even shown that one can ‘catch’ stress from other individuals [4] ! Workplace stress not only affects our lives at work but also affects our lives away from the workplace. 

There are numerous causes of workplace stress. Key factors can include work overload and pressure, lack of control and participation in decision making, unclear management, and poor social support [5]. While we may not each be able to make a large impact to improve in each of these areas, we can all contribute to an improvement in the social support we receive from one another and contribute to a culture of happiness rather than a culture of stress. One of the key drivers of happiness at work is developing a trusting, caring culture [6]. One major way to build a culture of happiness is promoting a culture of kindness in the workplace. Studies have shown an improvement in the well being of individuals who practice acts of kindness, as well as the receivers of such acts [7] [8].

What Can I Do Today?

Opt in to kindness. Reflect on what kindness means to you, and how you might be able to act with more kindness at home and work. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”

Archived Articles


[1] Ansoleaga, et .al, Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(20), 4039; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16204039

[2] B. Hansen, “Crash and Burnout: Is Workplace Stress the New Normal?”, https://www.wrike.com/blog/stress-epidemic-report-announcement/, September, 6. 2018.

[3] “5 Things You Should Know About Stress”, National Institute of Mental Health, https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/stress/#pub3

[4] T. Buchanan, et. al, “The empathic, physiological resonance of stress.”, Soc Neurosci. 2012;7(2):191-201. https://doi.org/10.1080/17470919.2011.588723 . Epub 2011 Jul 21.

[5] S Michie, “CAUSES AND MANAGEMENT OF STRESS AT WORK.”, Occup Environ Med 2002;59:67–72. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1740194/pdf/v059p00067.pdf

[6] MetLife's 17th Annual US Employee Benefit Trends Study 2019. https://www.metlife.com/employee-benefit-trends/ebts-thriving-in-new-wor...

[7] O.S. Curry et al., “Happy to help? A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of performing acts of kindness on the well-being of the actor.”, JESP, Volume 76, May 2018, Pages 320-329. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022103117303451

[8] J. Chancellor, et al., “Everyday prosociality in the workplace: The reinforcing benefits of giving, getting, and glimpsing.” Emotion, 18(4), 507–517. https://doi.org/10.1037/emo0000321

Financial support for Rubin Observatory comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through Cooperative Agreement No. 1258333, the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science under Contract No. DE-AC02-76SF00515, and private funding raised by the LSST Corporation. The NSF-funded Rubin Observatory Project Office for construction was established as an operating center under management of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA).  The DOE-funded effort to build the Rubin Observatory LSST Camera (LSSTCam) is managed by the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC).
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 to promote the progress of science. NSF supports basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future.
NSF and DOE will continue to support Rubin Observatory in its Operations phase. They will also provide support for scientific research with LSST data.   

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