Natasha Chhabra is a Doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Maryland, USA. Her research interests include race & migration, immigrant and transnational families, and gender and work. She is the co-author of ”Migration Matters: Mobility in a Globalizing World” published by the Oxford University Press in 2016. Natasha has also worked in migration research and policy advocacy for the Government of India, the International Labor Organisation (ILO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Here are some of Natasha’s insights on Kindness:
What has been one of your most unforgettable kindness memories?
“This is a tough question to answer because there have been so many unforgettable kind things that people have done for me in the past few months since the pandemic hit. I live alone in suburban America (without a car!) so I’ve needed help a lot of times with basic things and friends have been really generous with their time and their kind hearts to go out of their way for me. Their kindness has ensured that I haven’t felt alone throughout this difficult time for all of us”
In your view, is kindness linked to a growth mindset?
” Definitely! I say this from my own experience. As I see myself grow and become more self-aware, I’ve also found myself becoming kinder, more compassionate, and more understanding. I’m usually driven by the idea of perfection but growth has also meant that I am kinder to myself and to others when things are less than perfect. Growth has also made me less cynical which I think also translates into kindness towards the world in general”
Is it possible to apply kindness in your work life vs your private life?
“Absolutely! Like integrity, kindness is also inseparable and indivisible in different realms of your life. Although my work life and private life invariably spillover into each other in this phase of my life (getting a PhD!), I do feel like I’ve always tried to be the same person professionally and personally. This means that I do not reserve my kindness just for friends and family but also try to extend kindness and understanding to my work colleagues. We are all o unique and with such interesting life stories that work life becomes better and more fun if we always remember that and appreciate each other for what we bring to the table. If someone is especially difficult to work with, I try to look at the situation more objectively and try to not judge them harshly because that’s what I would do with my loved ones”
What does better eating mean to you and what is your favourite healthy dish?
“Better eating to me is eating a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables. It’s not the easiest thing to do where I live in the US especially in the middle of a pandemic but recently, I’ve subscribed to a fresh produce service that works to prevent food waste by sending produce that has been rejected by grocery stores. They also work directly with farmers to send surplus produce that would otherwise be wasted. Better eating for me also means thinking about where my food comes from and trying to minimize food waste. I’ve gotten better at this over time. I truly love to cook for myself and my friends and family. I am gluten intolerant so I’ve been gluten-free for a while and I try to eat as healthy as I can all the time which just means more home-cooked food and less processed food. My favourite healthy dish varies according to seasons but right now I really enjoy a chia seed pudding with fresh seasonal fruit!”