Do You Know the Meaning of “Genshai”?

Books Kindness Respect


Genshai is an ancient Hindi word that means

“you should NEVER treat yourself or another person in a manner that makes one feel small.”

I was introduced to this word by Kevin Hall in the first chapter of his book Aspire: Discovering Your Purpose Through The Power of Words. Genshai in its most complete application means unconditional brotherly/sisterly love. The key aspect of embracing this concept is to start with ourselves. Be honest. How many times each day do we scold ourselves and say self critical things that diminish ourselves? Do we metaphorically spray paint graffiti on our quiet, deep personal “wall”, the one that Facebook never sees? The answer for me is that while I have learned to do this much less than I used to, I still do it more often than I want to. Why is this important? Because the way I treat myself reflects the way I likely treat others. Essentially I see the world as I see myself. To fully apply Genshai, I must start with myself.

One of the pillars of the Character Triangle is Respect; this starts with self respect. So I challenge each of us to take steps to more consciously apply Genshai at work (and life). This means honestly accepting and working on our shortcomings but also not diminishing ourselves or anyone else. Being honest with ourselves can be done without feeling smaller.

Character Move: Kevin Hall wrote the following in his journal about Genshai: “I will write the secret word Genshai on a piece of paper and put it on the bathroom mirror. Each day I will look in the mirror with love, honor, and respect.”

  1. Take Kevin’s challenge and each day look in the mirror with love, honor and respect. Do it consciously and purposefully.
  2. Identify one person at work who reflects Genshai. Observe and thank that person.

Genshai is in the Character Triangle,