The Science of Kindness
Blaise Pascal is known to have said “Kind words do not cost much, yet they accomplish much.”
We all know endless movies where the good guy starts off with an obstacle and has to find a way to rise to the challenge.
And there is a reason why we have been always shown why it’s so important to persevere through hardship, be true to yourself, and kind to others – there is a societal need for kindness.
We are constantly faced with harsh realities of our lives from all over the world. We yearn for our childhood where things were simpler and life was just easier, and people were, well, just nicer.
Whether you are an entrepreneur, a team leader, or just a person going about your daily life, kindness can enrich your life and the world around you. To treat people with kindness leads to forming deeper bonds. As human beings, we thrive off the community we create for ourselves.
Our community is essential to our professional and personal development.
And funnily enough, our own sense of peace is essential for our community’s development. Think about your favorite cafe – does the nice barista have anything to do with it? What about your job – is your daily motivation and daily work done affected by the support offered by your boss?
Such small acts of kindness have helped the coffee shop get a happy and loyal customer, and the team leader ensured good results. Both parties leave interaction more enriched than before.
Several studies have also pointed towards the benefits of community, employee and client empathy in business. Engaging with the local community is essential for any business to gain support from the said community.
Employee empathy helped boost productivity, morale and working culture. And finally, client empathy helps companies forge life long relationships. In all a little kindness helps companies grow and ensure overall prosperity.
Therefore, isn’t kindness essentially a superpower?
To be able to listen to others, to take an interest in their wellbeing, and to do all you can to improve the comfort of those around should be seen as a personal strength. A ‘nice guys finish last’ attitude can prove quite detrimental in your personal and professional life. Surrounding oneself with people who you trust to have your back can make navigating through life so much easier.
One will not be able to reach greater heights without the support of those around; because at the end of the day – good people lift us to greater heights. Thus, in turn, we must make sure to pull them up as well. This is what leads to mutual success.
You choose what you put out into the world through your words and actions. No one else has a choice in these matters. When you decide to start being kind to those who you work with and live with, you reduce your mind’s urge to compete with them. Try instead to help others become successful. This will in turn ensure that you have people to turn to when you need help yourself.
It is a universal truth that one act of kindness can inspire another.
A natural shift then happens towards a deeper relationship based on give-and-take. This can bloom from the smallest actions or words. Think of the kindest person you know and try to narrow down to the actions that make this person kind. It could be as simple as a greeting, a smile, or even an occasional helping hand.
We live in unprecedented and sometimes scary times. It is exactly a world like this, where there is so much suffering in which kindness becomes essential. Many of us are blessed and capable of giving back to the world. Looking around our own communities, we can identify someone who would benefit from a kind word or a kind act. You never know how much effect your words can have on someone else.
More than ever before, it is now necessary to measure success as a collective one.
We are all in this together and we must help each other until this unknowable time is over. However, it should be remembered that the scope of kindness does not end here. We must also be kind to ourselves.
In the world of social media, success is constantly put up and measured through likes, retweets, and the number of followers. This not only deviates us away from our original goal of achieving genuine success, but it also puts us in a space where we measure our worth through others. We become our harshest critics.
But we must remember the importance of being kind to ourselves.
To be kind to oneself is to allow yourself time to achieve your goals.
Everyone works at their own pace and you should be allowed the space and the nurturing to achieve their full capabilities. Remember to give yourself breaks and to focus on other things that bring you joy. Essentially be kind to yourself the same way you would be to others.
When you are rested and happy, you will be able to accomplish more. Take time to focus on your hobbies or on learning new skills, you could be surprised as to how much it can enrich your life.
A lot of this is easier said than done.
It will take consistent effort and patience to go from random acts of kindness to make it a mindset. Everyone has a little bit of a ‘save the world’ mindset. But even if you help one person and even if that one person is yourself, you have accomplished a great deal.
Ultimately, being kind helps you achieve not an only personal success (by pushing yourself steadily), but also helps you achieve collective success. By focusing on mutual goals, we are able to help our neighbors in need and uplift the entire community. We are able to create a better life for everyone living in our ecosystem through a meaningful and sustainable impact that perhaps serves as the true measure of our lives.