The half-century marker demands introspection and a certain level of urgency. While ignoring life’s critical metrics (physical and mental health, what you truly stand for) is an option in one’s youth, at 50, snub them at your peril. On my journey to this age landmark, I’ve been pummeled by physical and spiritual tests. Instead of capitulating to despair, I’ve earned – donkey-kicking the whole way – a level of clarity that’s rendered irrelevant everything but health, passion, kindness and people I care about.

We’ve reached the nadir of human kindness. While there are pockets of humanity doing generous things every day, a culture of apathy and outright scorn has permeated the personal and professional spaces of our lives.

In the past decade, as I’ve become more “powerful,” my experience of kindness in the workplace has taken a significant gut punch. Although women have made strides from a regulatory perspective, little has changed, at a foundational level, in my years climbing the rickety ladder (more a series of misshapen buckets stacked precariously).

I’m submitting a nascent theory that we cannot change the male-female dynamic in the workplace enough to realize parity before the seas rise and only dust and ticks rule the deserts. What if we, in addition to continuing the good fight on a legislative front, ratified a kindness rights amendment?

Instead of nudging this boulder with our lady-Sisyphus shoulders, what if we strove for kindness at work? In the kindness model, all people have a voice and value. It lessens the she versus he dynamic and de-claws the incendiary nature of the equality conundrum: We all share the same capacity for kindness. It’s an egalitarian approach, with the natural by-product of parity. (Please know that I’m no paragon of benevolence. I’m sensitive, bossy and can be abrupt – very much a work in progress.)

Tenets of the kindness rights amendment:

1. Raise the civility bar dramatically. Let’s broaden this to no-blowhards and no one exempt from courtesy because of their status.

2. Embrace yi, a principle that suggests that some things should be done only because they are right. If Chinese philosophers aren’t your jam, think of it as the superego. Or the Golden Rule. Or Kantian ethics. Or any religious text that relays a message of compassion. This isn’t a dogma thing, it’s a human thing.

3. Take a moment to understand your co-workers have complicated lives. The world’s offices are full of damaged people trying to put on a good stage face.

4. Practice empathy. If it doesn’t come naturally, fake it till you find a place of commonality and connection. There’s no downside in acknowledging another person’s passions and trials.

5. Speak less, think more. Too many of us rush to vomit our own brilliance. My finest bosses and colleagues know when to shut up. There’s no gain in adding to the competitive cacophony.

With even modest kindness gains, we could enhance our worlds – personal and professional – in ways that could be incrementally and collectively mighty. Who’s with me?