Kindness is the New Cool
Happiness is the new rich
Inner Peace is the new success
Health is the new wealth
Kindness is the new cool
On average, Americans generate 4.3 pounds of trash per day. That means 1569.5 pounds per person per year. How kind are we to the world?
On average 50% of all marriages in the United States end in divorce or separation. On average, the typical US marriage lasts just seven years. How kind are we to people?
In 2017 in USA, 1720 children died from child abuse and neglect. Almost five children die every day from child abuse. How kind are we to children?
In Japan there is a concept called Kodokushi, which refers to lonely death. It is a Japanese phenomenon of people dying alone and remaining undiscovered for a long period of time. It happens so frequently that they have given it a proper name! How kind are we to old people?
A study conducted in England and Wales in 2017, estimated that 20% of women and 4% of men have experienced some type of sexual assault since the age of 16. How kind are we to the other gender?
According to the American Justice Department, bullying statistics show that one out of every four kids will be bullied sometime throughout their adolescence. It’s also not just in the classroom; bullying has increased due to the opportunities to bully online. How kind are we to our school mates?
We all want to look good far more
than we want to be good
Didn’t mother always teach us to be nice to everyone? Being genuinely nice, and for the right reasons. Not simply to show (or act) that we are nice. This is where kindness enters. We all want to look good far more than be good.
We might feel nice being nice, but being kind makes us kind people. Natural givers, sharers and carers. The difference between being nice and being kind is that being kind does not need a reward or return. There is no payback expected. In being nice there often is! When I am kind I give my seat up for you. But when I am being nice, I give my seat up for you, but then I want you to do something in lieu of that! I look out for a payment of some kind. Being nice is a bargain. Being kind is an investment. Kindness does not control. Niceness tries to control.
Dr David Hamilton in his book, ‘Why Kindness is Good for You’, says:
“Scientific evidence has proven that kindness changes the brain, impacts the heart and immune system, and may even be an antidote to depression. We’re actually genetically wired to be kind.”
As an ex-scientist, Hamilton shows that kindness has evolved in us, and thus its effects are felt daily throughout our nervous systems. When we’re kind, our bodies are healthiest.
He also shows how love and kindness can make a damaged heart regenerate faster; how kindness and compassion alter the neural structures of our brains; and that gratitude can make one at least 25 per cent happier. What more evidence do you need that kindness is not only good for the other, it’s good for you too!
More and more people are being kind in business by helping non-profits, sponsoring health and environment events and fundraising, as they realise the power of good that comes around by implementing CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiatives.
Brands are also jumping on the kindness bandwagon by promoting supporting causes. Taken from a recent social media campaign by a London fashion brand:
“Hate sucks, right? We’re all about the love at (our HQ) #HATESUCKS is a very important message we want to share with as many people as possible worldwide. From our stores to our social, rainbows reign across our branding and products in support of the LGBT community”. Although it’s clearly a marketing campaign, it does point in the right direction.
Kindness is not draining, because there is no pretence that we have to upkeep. When we are trying to be nice (exactly… we are trying… we are not being nice!) then we can get tired of being nice… and stop! When something comes naturally and from the heart, then there is very little labour… when we love to do something there is no effort involved. Being kind is a blessing. Being nice can become a burden at times!
Past hurts and pains block us from being nice or kind. We have lost trust. We are walking around with wounded hearts and scared to open that up to others. That is why we can no longer be kind. But imagine if we all went around hurting others just because we were hurt… it would leave the whole world blind as in Gandhi’s statement!
We have to be kind because kindness feels good. Kindness makes us at peace. Kindness makes us happy and makes us smile. Kindness makes us human, and selfless creatures. Kindness is the right thing to do… any time.
What can make us more inclined to be kind? Just be mindful that people are often having a tough time, and who wouldn’t appreciate an acknowledgement, a kind word, or a gesture of gratitude?
You don’t need a reason to be kind to people. Instead, here is a list of suggestions and ideas of ways to be kind. Try some of them out and see how it makes a difference to everyone’s day (including yours!):
Smile at someone today
Let someone into your traffic lane instead of trying to push them out
Create calm and silence so someone can rest/sleep
Make space for someone by moving over your mat in the yoga studio,
or moving your chair aside at the table
Give a genuine compliment
Say THANK YOU many times in the day
Pick up litter even it if not yours
Help clean up or wash up
There are a hundred ways we can be kind or kinder. Yes, we don’t have to do it, but if we do… we will be happier for it.
It’s time… to be really cool by being really kind! Just by being yourself and giving something of yourself from your heart. Your heart will thank you for it!
© ‘It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London, UK