Random Act of Kindness




4:00 PM

A celebration of Kindness with our colleagues across NOIRLab, Rubin Construction & DiRAC!

Join us for our first annual celebration of Kindness Day. Recognize the kind acts of your colleagues on the Slack #rubin-be-kind channel or by building onto the kindness chain (chain links are available in the DiRAC space after Feb 1st).

We will gather in person in the DiRAC common space and on Zoom on February 15th, 4:00-5:00pm, to highlight kindness in our workplace. During the digital get together, everyone that has posted to the #rubin-be-kind Slack channel, or added a link to the kindness chains on site, will have their names entered into a drawing to win a prize! 

Prize winners will be randomly selected during the meeting!

For more details on the Rubin Kindness initiative read on the Rubin Observatory site here or below here:

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.”


[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