Tough World, Why Teach And Display Kindness?

October 28, 2021,

Is being kind too whimsical and philosophical in nature?

It depends upon who you ask.

We can’t say enough in our travels across the celluloid, whenever Person A is being kind to Person B, the latter will pause at some point with a look on their face ranging from puzzled to suspicious and ask Person A, why are you being so nice to me?

Kindness is often highly touted as a noble trait. Don’t heroes who give back to the community receive awards? Don’t myriads of the wealthy give to charities?

In a tough and often cruel world, why should we be kind?

Let’s turn to an expert.

Deep Kindness: A Revolutionary Guide for the Way We Think, Talk, and Act in Kindness Hardcover – Illustrated, September 29, 2020

By Houston Kraft

Spread meaningful kindness in your everyday life with this essential guidebook to making the world a kinder, more accepting place.

“Practicing kindness is an essential step in helping to repair a world that has grown to be more divisive, lonely, and anxious than ever. But with quotes like, “Just be kind” or, “Throw kindness around like confetti,” we’ve oversimplified what it takes to actually demonstrate kindness in a world crying out for it.

Deep Kindness pairs anecdotes with actions that can make real change in our own lives, the lives of others, and throughout the world. Diving into the types of kindness the world needs most today, this book takes an honest look at the gap between our belief in kindness and our ability to practice it well—and shows us how to put intention into action. Exploring everything from the empathy gap to the skill of emotional regulation, Deep Kindness is perfect for anyone who believes in a kinder world and recognizes that there is a lot of work to do before we achieve it.”

Sounds great in theory but is it practical?

We say yes. Probably for a different reason than the above.

We feel it is often wise to be kind in a strategic way. Especially with small things. Like a test.

When we are kind to people, we ask ourselves, do they appreciate the kindness or take advantage of it?

If we desire something from them, possibly later in a large way, we test them by being kind to them in a small way first.

Down our life pathway, we have found that most people see kindness as a weakness. Too, they don’t respect the person being kind. We have come to a conclusion?

Be kind because it makes you feel better.

Does it make the world a better place? The jury is still out on that one. Be fair. Negotiate but being kind to people who have not earned it nor done anything to deserve it, we’re not so sure.

We feel a classic film speaks to our theory.

Amelie, a French film, tells the story of a shy waitress, played by Audrey Tautou, who decides to change the lives of those around her for the better while struggling with her own isolation.

She secretly executes complex schemes that affect the lives of those around her. She escorts a blind man to the Métro station, giving him a rich description of the street scenes he passes. She persuades her father to follow his dream of touring the world by stealing his garden gnome and having a flight attendant friend airmail pictures of it posing with landmarks from all over the world. She starts a romance between her hypochondriacal co-worker Georgette and Joseph, one of the customers in the bar. She convinces Madeleine Wallace, the concierge of her block of flats, that the husband who abandoned her had sent her a final conciliatory love letter just before his accidental death years before.

And so it goes.

Yes, she is being kind to others but again, being kind helps her deal with her sense of loneliness and isolation.

For repetition, be kind if it makes you feel better. If you are going to get something out of that act of kindness that improves your life and well-being.

We are not sold on the idea of being kind just for the sake of doing so.

Someone else might not agree. Possibly you.

Here is another view.

Why We Should Teach Our Kids To Be Kind

By Shaya Kass, PhD

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~Plato

I just read a fascinating article about some research about being kind. I had never really thought of it, but the authors make a good point that kindness is the “other side of the coin” of gratitude.

In their words, they said “Whereas gratitude results when people receive kindness from other people, kindness entails enacting kind behavior toward other people.” Having said this, it is no surprise that kindness makes people happy since we already know that gratitude makes people happier.

And being kind will make your child feel good. There is actually a release of endorphins in your body when you are kind. Endorphins are similar to morphine. You actually feel good when you are kind. I wonder if our kids can become addicted to being kind? What a great addiction that would be! And you sure wouldn’t need any anti-depressants with that kind of addiction!

The researchers measured kindness in a few different ways. One way was to ask the participants how often they thought others were kind to them, how often they were motivated to be kind to others and how often they actually were kind to others. I think that first question is probably the step before gratitude. Once we recognize that someone has been kind to us, we can be grateful for it.

The researchers also gave the participants a happiness measure. Not surprisingly, those people who were happier were kinder. Or is it that those people who were kinder were happier?

Either way, we can learn an important lesson. There is a connection between kindness and happiness. So as with most other areas of happiness, we get to “kill two birds with one stone!” Those things that bring happiness are generally good things to do like being grateful, being kind and being self-compassionate.

Kindness can be toward friends or strangers. We can help our kids be kind to family members and teachers. Kindness toward any of these will help make us happy.

Happy people scored high in all three areas of happiness. They wanted to be kind, they recognized kindness more than unhappy people and they have more kind behaviors.

So what are some ideas for kind acts? How about a smile? Let’s teach our kids to give passersby a smile. And we can give store-clerks a smile. Our kids can even smile to the driver in the car next to us. Or perhaps we can do a simple loving-kindness mediation which I have written about previously.

Even a small act like this can help your child to have a better day and make them happier. This happiness can spread throughout your family and improve all the relationships and interactions. How great would that be!

Shaya Kass, PhD is a parenting coach.

I help parents create relationships with their kids that give a lifetime of smiles. Sincere, deep, loving relationships. Having a parent coach can help you create one of these fabulous relationships. I offer tips and techniques for growing happy, inspired kids and parents at [].

Visit now for a free report on The 7 Key Steps to Being A Positive Parent.

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