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kindness

Why The World Has Become Less Kind

Kindness is something that I feel is leaving us a little bit – people are getting more self-involved. [Cobie Smulders]

It seems life has taken us to a place where we no longer value kindness as a trait. In fact, kindness has been replaced with self-importance and wanting to stay impersonal. The question is why has the world become less kind?

Is it that we no longer care about others? Do we believe kindness makes us weak? Is the lack of kindness from some global change?

The truth is, kindness has become less and less important in our daily lives for several reasons.

  • We’re in a hurry. Life has become so fast paced, filled with appointments and places to be that we no longer take the time to simply listen to someone.
  • Technology has taken place of the human face-to-face, voice-to-voice interactions of the past. No longer do we pick up the phone or meet face-to-face to talk to others. Now we spend our time texting, posting, getting involved in others drama or simply playing mindless games on our cell phones, tablets, computers and even our watches.

Technology has allowed us to say it’s okay to be late all the time. After all, we can simply text our friend we’re running late, and they’ll know. It’s taken away the common courtesies of saying thank you, hello, nice to meet you, please and “how can I help you”.

We no longer smile at others when we see them. We no longer sympathize or help someone who is having a rough day. Instead we place an emoji on our social media post or in a text and call it done.

There’s an app for everything. Want to have a relationship? Use this app. Want to order your dinner? Use this app. Are these apps taking away the connectedness we once had that created kindness? Maybe.

  • Self-centred and greed is another reason kindness has taken a backseat. Many people are focused on their own lives, on getting ahead and doing whatever is necessary to beat the other guy.

People are more interested in taking care of their own self before they reach out and extend some type of kindness to others. We’ve become a society of “me first” that wasn’t seen as often just a few years ago.

  • Our environment causes us to withdraw from others. Living in crowded cities among strangers can make you quickly hide your natural tendency to be generous and kind to others. With crime, kidnappings, murders and other fears running wild in many cities, people have found it safer to keep to themselves. Road rage keeps people from stopping to help someone with car trouble.
  • Our upbringing was different 30 years ago. We believed in helping each other. Neighbours looked out for each other. People weren’t afraid to help the poor and needy. People and children were taught to respect others and to be trustworthy and honest.

Today people are more afraid to show their kindness. There is fear that we will be attacked for what we say or do. We don’t want to appear vulnerable and to get hurt so we attack with words and actions as a way to self-protect ourselves.

Kindness has taken a backseat to greed, technology, poor manners and the environment we live in. Instead of showing kindness we’re afraid to be seen as the nice guy because we might be taken advantage of.

Hang On!… Why Kindness Is So Important

“Constant kindness can accomplish as much as the sun making ice melt. Kindness causes misunderstandings, mistrust and hostility to evaporate.” Albert Schweitzer

Kindness seems to be missing in today’s society. People are more connected to their devices than to what is happening around them. They are self-absorbed. Kindness is oftentimes the last thing they think about.

Without kindness our world would be filled with strife, discontent and anger. We’d see relationships fall apart or never start, countries disintegrate into constant war and our world completely changed.

According to Dr John and Julie Gottman – founders of the Gottman Institute, which studies relationships – every successful relationship is, in the end, supported by kindness. What’s more, they claim the most important time you should be kind is during some type of conflict, such as when you are arguing with a partner and yet, this is the hardest time for most people to be kind.

Kindness is about showing empathy, acceptance and tolerance,” explains Lawrence Stoyanowski, a Vancouver-based therapist. “It’s about being able to scan your partner for things to appreciate rather than criticize.” Stoyanowski follows the principles set out by the Gottman Institute.

Why Kindness?

As children and even as adults, we look for kindness from our family and friends. We give and receive kindness every day in some form.

Kindness moves us. We remember past kindnesses done to and by us. Kindness nourishes, heals, strengthens and uplifts us.

Many studies have shown that kindness though, is not only a good moral value but it is good for you. It benefits your brain, your body and your emotions in many ways. It is a foundation for a meaningful life.

Here are 6 reasons why kindness is so important.

  • Kindness makes us happier. When we perform random acts of kindness, we activate areas of pleasure, social connection and trust in our brains.
  • It creates a positive loop in our mind. Kindness makes you happier and happiness makes you kinder. When you are happy, you are more likely to feel giving and kind towards others.
  • Kindness can create social connections and bonding. As humans, we’re preprogrammed to be a part of a group. Being a part of a group, a social connection of some type, enhances our physical performance and boosts mental clarity. Being kind allows us to be a part of a group.
  • Kindness helps with the healing process. When healthcare is delivered with kindness it can hasten the healing process, thereby shortening hospital stays. Kinder care leads to a range of outcomes including reduced pain, lowered blood pressure and less anxiety for the patient and caregivers.
  • Kindness can decrease or help prevent diseases. Kindness lowers our stress and anxiety levels and decreases pain because of the endorphins and feel-good hormones released at the time of the act.
  • Positive emotions from kindness boosts your vagus nerve which regulates blood sugar. This helps the body prevent diabetes, strokes and heart disease.
  • Altruism has been shown to stimulate the reward area of our brain. Studies suggest that we get high on being kind.

No matter how inconsequential an act of kindness might be, it is good for you. Without kindness life would be lonely, filled with anger and desolation, disease and stress. But when kindness is both given and received with no expectations in return, our lives are calmer, happier and we build meaningful connections to others.

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