On Kindness

There are all sorts of social experiments carried out to show how kindness is all kinds of awesome. Stories about kindness get shared lots, and why not? It shows the best of being human, and who can argue with that?

We know that when people are kind, we repay that kindness to complete strangers.

We know that when people are kind, we feel good inside with all the warm fuzzies.

We know that when people are kind, it leaves us feeling with a sense of awe.

We know that when people are kind, it cuts through straight to the heart.

But.

And.

Just what is it?

My children are capable of such kindness to one another that I beam when I see it. They do it because they care about one another. They do it because they just do it. As much as we might explain how it is to be kind, and why they should do it, there are many a moment when it just happens. And I feel so full of joy and pride when I see it.

And then they fall into sibling behaviour and get into scraps and arguments with one another moments later and I think and wonder, how did that switch around so quickly?

Did you know our closest evolutionary cousins, primates, are also capable of kindness?

We get so bombarded with such a variety of messages. Buy this product so you too can have a clean and happy home. Buy this investment so you too can live a happy financial future. Buy this life that you don’t currently lead and feel valued in. Buy this.

I’m not railing against consumerism. It is what it is. But advertising isn’t meant to show us what kindness is about.

And the national political debate swings from claiming we’re all in it together and then demonising those living on the streets and on the breadline.

Charities and the voluntary sectors have oddly seen a rise in their donations over these difficult years, which says something loud and bold.

So I’m railing against the good advice.

I’m railing against the top ten list of how to do it.

Because we know it when it happens. I feel it. You relish it. We live it. It is awesome. They crave it. It is free.

Go and be kind? If you want.

Show some kindness to a stranger? If it fits in your day.

Take a moment to offer a kind word to a colleague? If they deserve it.

Write a kind letter to a loved one? If they’ll be receptive to it.

Damn that yin and yang.

Go. Be. Do.

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Published by

Sukh Pabial

I'm an occupational psychologist by profession and am passionate about all things learning and development, creating holistic learning solutions and using positive psychology in the workforce.

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