April 21, 2020

Alum Podcast Answers Pandemic Panic With a Message About Kindness

“Kindness is a natural part of each one of us; it’s always within. We need only decide to pay attention, to realize that we are all connected in some way. Kindness is actually the source of our power—when we are kind, we are at our most happy and most powerful,” says Arlette Poland. She teaches at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at CSU San Bernardino (Palm Desert Campus) and College of the Desert in the Coachella Valley.

Kindness is not quite an exact science, but it is a necessary one.

“Now more than ever is a time for acts of random kindness around the world,” says CGU School of Arts & Humanities alumna Arlette Poland (PhD, Religion, ’09).

Abbreviated into an approach that she calls ARK-ism, Poland’s system of focusing on acts of random kindness can be a guide and inspiration to achieve more happiness.

Kind action is the point of her Listen WithIN podcast—audio sessions she has been recording for almost three years.

Since the issuing of California’s “Safer at Home” order in March, Poland has committed to shorter podcasts involving readings, music, and words of encouragement. What began as her capstone project for a degree in ethical leadership has blossomed into a mission to give back and be of service.

“Podcasting has helped me offer my voice and perspective,” she explained. “I just want to help people because that is kindness in action and that is the point of life.”

The pandemic shows we’re all connected, says Poland. What matters now is “the quality of the connection.”

These shorter podcasts are entitled “Moments of Kindness in This Pandemic Storm,” and Poland has designed them to nudge the listener to uncover his or her own inherent kindness, experiencing the power of care and connection by being of service to oneself and others.

“I want listeners to ask themselves a guiding question: What is my opportunity for greater care and connection for myself and others right now?” she explained. “We know from science… that we are all connected in some way. The only real issue is the quality of the connection. Using that question calls your attention to a quality of connection that automatically leads to your best and kindest self… .”

Poland’s own journey has stemmed from this mode of self-discovery. A Screen Actors Guild member who has performed in theater, commercials, and movie shorts, she originally began her educational journey in political science before obtaining her law degree at the San Francisco Law School.

She later pursued a doctorate at CGU and shifted from practicing law to teaching. She currently teaches “World Religions” and “Perspectives on Death and Dying” (her favorite course to lead) at College of the Desert, in addition to multiple subjects at CSUSB Palm Desert.

“Everybody needs to give in their own way, and this is my method of doing that. After all, it is time for us all to be the kindness we want to see in the world,” she said.


Interested in listening to Arlette Poland’s “Listen WithIN” podcast? Visit here for a full selection of episodes. The show is also available on all major podcasting networks—iTunes, iHeartRadio, Spotify, and Google Play—with the keyword search “dr arlette.”