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  • 1.  On the importance of kindness

    Posted 08-27-2020 08:13
    I really enjoyed reading through "Why Kindness Is More Important Than Ever." Kindness is such an important message! It costs nothing to take a moment to be kind, and the payoff is not only for yourself, but for those that you give your kindness to - they'll remember that feeling of acceptance, understanding, or warmth they felt and are more likely to mirror it to others. 

    Kindness is so important to me that I tell my children this often and it applies to everyone:

    "You don't have to be the best at something - the smartest, the fastest, the coolest, but by being kind - with even the smallest act of kindness, YOU can be the catalyst that creates a ripple effect across many others that opens the doors of opportunities, possibilities, and connections."

    At the end of the day, isn't a little kindness what we ALL need?
    • Has anyone here experienced an act of kindness recently that really impacted their outlook? Please share your story.
    • If you don't have a story to share, take tomorrow to start being that catalyst for kindness, and enjoy the benefits! You will not be sorry!

    Amanda Gose

  • 2.  RE: On the importance of kindness

    Posted 08-27-2020 09:01
    Thanks for pointing out this article, @Amanda Gose! I have a recent story to share...I was out school shopping with my daughter (she does need some supplies, even though it's all virtual), and we just had a couple of items to purchase when we got in the check-out line. The man in front of me had a huge cartload of items, and he heard me (6 feet back) chatting with my daughter in line. He said, "Why don't you two go in front of me?" and gestured for us to switch places with him. We took him up on his offer, and we smiled at him with our eyes above our masks :) We felt good as the recipients of kindness, and he was eye-smiling back at us, so he probably felt pretty good about it, too.

    I've also heard that people who observe an act of kindness between other people, also feel good about it--so all the other people that day who were in line in front, behind, and beside us probably got a little bit of the "feel good," too! 

    Such a small act of kindness affected many people that afternoon!​

    Maria Liccardo

  • 3.  RE: On the importance of kindness

    Posted 08-27-2020 09:02
    Edited by Andy Sternberg 08-27-2020 09:15
    💯 @Amanda Gose! This has been on my mind a lot this week as racial injustice and unconscionable violence continues to break out -- from Lafayette, Louisiana to Kenosha -- just an hour north of us here in ​Chicago. 

    "Be kind" is such a core value that it is always among the first words you'll see in the "rules" we create for Facebook Groups. If "Be Kind" is all you see, you're already in the right mindset.

    Peace and happiness is possible when we lead with kindness. ✌️

    Andy Sternberg

  • 4.  RE: On the importance of kindness

    Posted 08-28-2020 09:11
    Thanks, @Amanda Gose! I love that message of kindness first/above all. Do your kids generally react well to it?

    I came across a related podcast this morning: The Science of Happiness - Episode 74: 24 Hours of Kindness. Dasher Keltner interviews two people:
    • An activist and scholar named Aaron Harvey, (first handcuffed at age 11 for "fitting a description," then later wrongfully incarcerated for 18 months), who has found that practicing and cultivating kindness brings him joy
    • The research director at Kindness.org, a group that uses scientific studies to inspire kindness, Oliver Scott Curry. 

    If you've got 21 minutes to listen, I'd recommend it. But if not, here's the key point I find really interesting: 

    Oliver Scott Curry Humans are a social species, we've lived together in social groups for 50 million years, and during that time we've relied on one another to survive and thrive. And cooperative behavior has really been one of the humans distinguishing features and has been responsible for our remarkable success.

    Helping a stranger might be a way of making a new friend, for example, kick-starting a new social relationship. Helping strangers can also raise your profile and raise your status, can earn the respect and admiration of your peers and lead them to choose you in the future.

    Dacher Keltner Other people are our life support systems. We're generally happy when we're plugged into that system and generally unhappy when not. Kindness helps strengthen our connections to others. It's also associated with all kinds of benefits: less stress less anxiety, better cardiovascular health - even a longer life expectancy.

    Oliver Scott Curry I think overall, people underestimate the benefits of kindness for themselves and for others and that they should give it a whirl because they will probably like it. And that doesn't mean that they have to jump straight in and, you know, donate a kidney or sell all their worldly possessions. They can start small by saying hello to people on their commute or holding doors open. They don't have to jump from zero to 100 immediately. They're probably already at 50 percent. So just try out 51 percent. And if you like that, try out 52 percent and then keep going until you find your equilibrium.

    I love this concept of upping the kindness factor by 1 percent until you "find your equilibrium." So inspiring!

    - Drew