The King of Kindness with Marly Q
Have you ever met someone who embodies kindness so effortlessly that you can’t help but feel inspired?
Well today is your lucky day because we get to meet and spend time with Patrick Morris who is often referred to as the King of Kindness!
Tune into this short episode, to be inspired by our friend Pat as he shares his experiences and insights on what it takes to create a kinder world, and how we can all contribute as “PARKers” in this mission together.
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“Kindness is a choice, and our brain is wired to be kind.” ~ Patrick Morris
Listen to this Episode and discover…
- The power of asking people to help!
- Why instilling a philanthropic mindset in children from a young age is important.
- What’s the main difference between philanthropy and charity?
- How to stay passionate about kindness and philanthropy, without burning out!
- Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniela Levine Cava’s 4 E’s (and a 5th E) to encourage more civic engagement with local government.
Marly Q and Pat’s collective passion for kindness and service shines through this episode and you will be left feeling inspired to make a difference as the King or Queen of Kindness in your own home and community. Tune in now to embark on this quest to create a kinder world, together!
About Marly Q:
Kindness Influencer, Leadership Trainer, and Community-Builder on a mission to create a kinder world for over two decades. Through her podcast, she invites listeners to make “Time to Be Kind” each week to receive a spark of kindness, connection and community.
Connect with Marly Q:
About Our Guest:
Patrick Morris is known as the King of Kindness for his career in philanthropy, civic engagement, and professional volunteerism for over three decades. Pat works as the Director of Civic and Philanthropic Partnerships at Miami Dade County’s Office of the Mayor, inspiring people to collaborate and bring kindness to the table.
Connect with Patrick Morris:
Listen to Marly Q TEDx Talk “Kindness is your Superpower”: https://bit.ly/MarlyQTEDxTalk
Join our Kind QREW Free Private Facebook Group: https://facebook.com/groups/kindqrew
Join our Kind QREW+ Paid Membership: https://marlyq.com/kind-qrew
Programs & Courses: https://marlyq.com/programs
Marly Q Speaking, Training & Retreats: https://sparkcsr.com
Marly Q Have you ever met or spent time with the King of Kindness? How about the Queen? The truth is, neither have I. But in today’s episode, you’ll get to meet and connect with kindness royalty, from South Florida anyway, and be invited to join our quest to create a kinder world together.
Marly Q Welcome. Thank you so much for making Time to be Kind with Marly Q and our special guest today, Patrick Morris. Patrick I call Pat. He’s been my friend for many, many years. I can call him Pat and call him the King of Kindness, like so many people do, not just in South Florida, but throughout the nation. Pat is known as the King of Kindness because he has a career in philanthropy, civic engagement, and professional volunteerism for over three decades. So he knows a thing or two about making time to be kind and the impact, especially as he serves as the Director of Civic and Philanthropic Partnerships at Miami Dade County’s Office of the Mayor. Thank you for making time to be kind with us today, Pat. Welcome.
Patrick Morris Marly, great to see you again. And, yeah, we’ve known each other for a long time. So we’ve been working on this kindness thing together for a long time and super excited to be with you today.
Marly Q Thank you. Me, too. And for our Parkers that might be listening and connecting just for the first time, a PARKer is a person that Performs Acts of Random Kindness. Every episode I’ve got to let people know that I am a serial acronymist and I have my own lingo, and you will be speaking it very soon. So Pat and I are PARKers, and we’ve also been called like, the King and the Queen of Kindness in our own respects. How do you feel about being called the King of Kindness? Let me ask you.
Patrick Morris You know, I find it to be exactly who I think I am friendly, generous and considerate. That’s lessons I learned as a young child. And I would like to think that I’ve passed on to my kids. And when my friends write my epitaph, that those will be three words that will be along with kindness maybe King of Kindness will be on my headstone somewhere. Not anytime soon, but when that time comes, I’ll be proud to be known as somebody who was kind.
Marly Q What a life, right? I have to be honest. I’ve been called the Queen of Kindness, and it always makes me like I haven’t fully opened to receive that. And I guess I still have some healing and look and work to look into that. I’m only the Queen of my home. That’s all I know. I’m the queen of my home and my kingdom, right? But I do like to think I’m the spark of kindness. And that’s what we’re doing here at Time to be Kind with Marly Q is providing a little spark of kindness. And today I’m just so grateful that it gets to be with you, and I want to just hear from you. You’ve been doing this work for over three decades. How did you get started? How did you find your passion for service and philanthropy?
Patrick Morris Well, it sounds funny, but I literally started as a young child. You know! My grandfather started the Irish American Society in Mineola, Long Island. We used to spend Sunday afternoons holding my mom and dad’s hand, going to the Irish Community Center. And part of what was always a part of that was a social piece, and there was a community piece. So I kind of saw that as a young child. You know, my dad was a member of the Knights of Columbus. We always were going to do projects with him when he was, when I was a young kid. I’m the oldest of six. All of our kids in my family did that at young ages. He was involved in politics on Long Island, and I spent many a Friday night and a Saturday or Sunday going to either a synagogue, black church or a church with an elected official that my father was supporting. And I remember being a young kid sitting in a black church in Glen Cove in Long Island and looking at these beautiful big hats that the ladies were wearing in church. And it’s a memory that stuck with me from the time I was a little kid. So being involved in service and doing things in the community has kind of just been something that’s been kind of who I am from a young kid and you know, continued that in high school. We moved from New York to Pennsylvania when I was in high school, and there was an earth and dam that collapsed in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Not the first time it happened, which was like, in 1926, but in 1976, I think. And I went as a high school junior with about 20 other kids and shoveled dirt out of people’s basements because the flood, the water had flooded into their basements. And, you know, it’s one of those things, like, many years later now, but I remember that senior citizen, mom and dad, Grandma and Grandpa, you know, basically welling up and crying, saying that if you young people hadn’t come here, I don’t know how we would have got the dirt out of our basement. It wasn’t dirt, it was mud at that point. And so I remember you know, that more clearly than anything about the impact of being a person who, with a shovel and a hand and a wheelbarrow, could make a difference in people’s lives, that’s if we didn’t do it, who was going to do it? And so I think I’ve seen that and talked to friends over the years, like, if you don’t do it, who’s going to do it? And that was always a pretty good reason for me to step in and do whatever it is so.
Marly Q It really sounds like kindness was your identity, and I think that’s so important. I started a hashtag a couple of years ago, and my first product that I put out was called I am Kindness. Like, we can identify with that is at the core of who you are. That is your identity I am kindness. And it’s very easy to identify when you’re being that and when you’re not being that, right? It’s like a standard of being. So I love hearing that in your story and I’m curious Pat. You know! Because focus on a life of service and always being of service to others and putting that energy out on a consistent basis can be exhausting, right? Like, a life of service could be really kind of tiring and exhausting. Can you speak a little bit to that and how you keep going? What keeps you in this work?
Patrick Morris Yeah, it’s funny because, Marly, you may know this, you may not know this, but I was involved with the Make A Wish Foundation for a long, long time before I moved to Florida in 1988. I got involved as a wish granter up in New York, granted a bunch of wishes, incredible wishes, to young kids who had terminal illnesses. I moved to South Florida. I got involved here again. I, you know, became a wish granter. The best title, I think that any volunteer can have to be a wish granter. And, you know, I was never asking for me. I was asking for a young girl or boy in their family who was dealing with incredible difficulties with whatever the terminal illness that they had. I was always asking for them. So it got me very early on as a younger person to understand the power of asking people to help. They weren’t helping Pat Morris. They were helping a young boy who was in New York City to meet Mr. T or to become a firefighter for the day, or we did the first glorious Stefan wish here in South Florida. I did the first Marlins wish for the little boy back in 1996 who was the first marlin for a day. Now they’ve done probably 30 or 40 marlin wishes. But to me, I saw the power of volunteerism and what that meant to that family. I didn’t know that family. I didn’t know that young kid. Most of them I never met again, except for those couple of days where they came into my life and I came into their life. But I saw the power of what that did for them and for whatever it did for them, it did for me ten times more. That feeling that you got from helping somebody at that level is something that I never forget and I never have forgotten. And I get it whether I’m at Junior Achievement at a school or I’m with the Data Education Fund at a school or I’m doing Baynanza in Miami. That piece of volunteering is something that I have always felt you get back ten times more than you give.
Marly Q Absolutely. 100%. I refer to that as kind of enriching your life with the currency of kindness. Right, if we were to have been taught to value the currency of kindness the way that we value monetary currency, we would live in a completely different world, don’t you agree?
Patrick Morris 100%. No doubt about it. Absolutely.
Marly Q What do you think is the difference between philanthropy and charity?
Patrick Morris Yeah, I think I don’t ever use the word charity anymore. Charity is a handout. I mean, that’s what it sounds like to me. That’s what I’ve always thought it was, even before I kind of had this philosophical shift. Philanthropy, obvious, is giving to support a cause. Whether it’s your time that you’re giving, it can be philanthropical time that you give, or philanthropical dollars, clearly, that you give. I know one thing that I started when my kids were little. They’re now 18 and 20. We haven’t done it in a while. When we found money on the street, we found a dollar here or a quarter, whatever, we put it in a jar. And after a couple of months and putting that together, we brought it to the public, figured out how much money we had, and then we donated that to a nonprofit. And so teaching my kids that anybody can be a philanthropist, just like Lauren Buffett or Jeff Bezos at Amazon or whoever it is right in our own community that are amazing philanthropists, like Anna Milton or Joe Fernandez, the folks who give big, big dollars. If you’re giving anything that’s yours and you’re giving it away again, whether it’s your time or your money, you’re a philanthropist. And again, I just go back to it always comes back to you ten times more than you ever give out.
Marly Q Yes, I speak at a lot of schools, right, whether it’s Career Day or just invited to come and speak in classrooms or auditoriums, what have you. And I love being able to tell children, especially elementary school age children, that they can be a philanthropist. You don’t usually get that career option at Career Day. And I come in and say, you know I am actually myself for a living I have a business called Marly Q LLC. But really who I am, I am a kindness influencer. I’m a philanthropist, and so are you. And no matter what you choose to do as a profession or a career in your life. Whether it’s, and I’ll say an entrepreneur, a doctor, a dentist, a teacher, whatever the kids would say to me that they wanted to be, you can be a philanthropist, while doing that. You can be a philanthropist at the core of philanthropy is a genuine love and concern for humanity and being committed to offer your resources, be it time, money, expertise, skills, connections, anything that you have to offer, I think that is philanthropy. So I hope that all of our PARKers listening here today are reminded that you have this superpower. You are the king or queen of kindness in your own kingdom, in your own world. And we all have this power to be the spark of that in our community and ultimately shift our culture and how we treat each other in our homes, in our workplaces, in our schools, in our community, in our churches, out in traffic. Right?
Patrick Morris Yeah. Right. Yeah. I know you said that you’re a spark. I think you’re 15 years later that we’ve known each other a raging blaze of a fire these days of kindness. Not a spark by any means. But, you know, kindness is a choice, right? I mean, you know, you can be nice, you can be kind, but it’s a choice that someone has to make. And I think the thing that is just a fact is that our brain is wired to be kind. And the more we are kinder, the more the synapses fire in a very positive way to make us happier people. Again it’s not something that Dr. Pat is telling you. It’s actually Harvard based research that is an evidence that you could go find that talks about kindness and the impact it has on you as an individual. To me, kindness is always a ripple effect. You do something for somebody, they see it, they take it, and they pass it on. And I always feel that’s happening all around me all the time when I see just random acts of kindness that happen all the time.
Marly Q All the time. And you said it. It’s when we see it, when we are aware and present to it and truly when we practice kindness. And that’s why I even brought this podcast back, was to recommit myself to making the Time to be Kind, to putting it on the calendar, scheduling the time to reach out and connect with people that are kindness influencers, that are PARKers, that are kindness superheroes right, out there. Because there’s a lot of us. There’s a lot of us, and we in small ways, in grand ways, but every day, in some way, we have this responsibility to keep this currency of kindness going. And I’m just so grateful for the work that you do every single day. I know that for the past decades, it’s been kind of using your words from the outside in on philanthropy. And now that you’re working for local government and for the office of the mayor, focused on philanthropic partnerships and how can we create more civic engagement in our communities? How can we inspire people to collaborate and work with our local government and bring kindness to the table?
Patrick Morris Yeah, it’s a great question. Mayor Levine Cava has her four E’s, she calls them, and the bucket is Equity, which goes through everything she does. Economy, which is how do we build a thriving economy that is equitable for all. Environment. She put the first chief Bay officer in place, the first chief heat officer in place. Resiliency is something that she’s enhanced in the office of Resiliency under a guy by the name of Jim Murley. And Engagement is her four E’s. And I say to her that I think she really has a fifth E. It’s called Empathy because everything that she does is with an empathetic heart. And an eye to how can we be equitable about it, how can we engage people, how is it going to help our economy and what’s the environmental ramifications of anything we’re doing? But it’s all through a lens of empathy. And empathy at the end of the day, is, again, it’s that kindness and that night being nice piece of it. And I think that my first time in county government the last two years with the mayor. I’ve known the mayor for over 30 years. So excited to work with her and work under her leadership of the county departments that we work with. But I can tell you that this is a mayor that is open to engaging the community, wants to have the community to everything we do is transparent so the community can see what we’re doing. And there are just a lot of ways, whether it’s on county boards or volunteer opportunities, that are available throughout county government, to get engaged in our community that I think there’s probably no administration that is as open to getting our citizenry into the offices and engaged in our community and super excited. I’m one of the guys on her engagement team who helps make that happen. Whether it’s individuals, whether it’s corporations, again, we’ve got a whole group of philanthropists that are moving to Miami Dade County. They’re business people. They’re philanthropists. How are we helping them get that civic footprint set? Because it’s great to move from another part of the country and make money here and be successful in business. We want you to be equally successful in your civic footprint. And that’s one of the things that I’m engaged in almost on an everyday basis, trying to get folks more engaged in our community.
Marly Q I love it. And you’re doing that right here with us today. Thank you so much for agreeing to make time to be kind with me. Pat, how can people get in touch with you and learn a little bit more as to how they can connect locally?
Patrick Morris Absolutely. Very easily. My cell phone is 786-325-2223 or you can reach me by my email at county in the mayor’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org. And I’m a quick responder to email, so any questions, I’m happy to answer and help anybody get started in their journey and service to our community.
Marly Q I love that. Are you listening, PARKer’s? Like, we just had the king of kindness give you his cell phone and email address. I mean, really, we have no excuse as to not connect and reach out and get engaged. Because you and I both know the power that exists when local residents and citizens take ownership of the community that they live in and contribute and seek ways to give back, to be of service in some way. And there’s so many different opportunities when you actually become the spark of that engagement, you have the power to do that. Kindness is your superpower, and I hope that this episode has inspired you to reach out and be either the king or queen of kindness in your own way today.
Patrick Morris Absolutely. Thank you, Marly.
Marly Q Thank you so much. I hope you found that conversation as inspiring and enlightening as I did. Join me and Pat over in our Kind QREW Facebook group where we engage after each episode. If you haven’t joined our Kind QREW yet, you can find the link in this episode’s show notes. Visit Marlyq.com forward slash this episode number. So whatever number this episode is, Marlyq.com forward slash that number. I’ll see you next time. Thanks for making Time to be Kind with Marly Q.
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