You remember with gratitude the times when someone was kind to you–the day you forgot your lunch money and someone shared, the time you had a flat tire and someone stopped to help. Is kindness natural? My colleague, writing for the December 8, 2015 edition of Cleveland.com, thinks it is. He sites some interesting research on kindness and shares his own experiences of witnessing active, caring love. Here’s Steve:
Ever feel impelled to give the world a big hug? We thrive on kindness. And though we frequently witness examples of callousness both in our own lives and in the news, displays of intolerance and indifference should only strengthen a desire to resist such behavior and encourage respectful relationships.
A look-out-for-yourself mentality is unnatural. We start out in life as sharers. Through their constant caregiving, the vast majority of moms and dads instill in us the capacities of empathy and generosity.
That nurturing is health-giving to children. And it endures into adulthood. Encouragement and kindheartedness foster wellbeing not only in recipients, but in contributors as well. Stephen Post, Director for the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics at Stony Brook University, recently quoted the Book of Proverbs when speaking before a group in Cleveland: “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed….”