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5 Things I Know For Sure About Kindness...

“If you haven’t any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart problem.” - Bob Hope

With everything going on in the world, kindness can at times become a distant memory if we aren’t careful. I’ve had my share of things going horribly wrong however, I’ve also had experiences when things went amazingly right (THANK GOD!). Many wait until they are older before they share “what they’ve learned” but I think us younger folks have some wisdom to share also, don’t you think?

Here is how this is going to work! I’m going to start with these “5 Things I know for sure about kindness”. Then, you are going to comment below with kind facts you'd like to include. I will then add it to our more extensive blog post this Sunday.

By then, the list will longer, the wisdom will be grander, and the impact with be stronger. It will be a win-win! People will learn more amazing tidbits about kindness and you will get your recognition.

Let’s dive in, shall we?!

There can be disagreements without disrespect.

Kindness unlike many other facets of society does not require a certain dollar amount, a certain degree, or a certain circle of friends. It requires a heart and we all have those. I always found it strange that religion, race and politics are the three things known as “taboo” when it comes to conversation topics. How can the major components that essentially power our world be off limits? I disagree. I encourage you to show others how these conversations can exist. And exist kindly. Speak up, share a thought, consider other people’s opinion, and let that interaction be beneficial and pleasant for both sides. It’s possible- despite what we’ve been taught.

Kindness makes for better relationships.

We all know that we like people who show us kindness. This is because kindness reduces the emotional distance between two people, so we feel more “bonded.” It’s something that is so strong in us that it’s actually a genetic thing. We are wired for kindness. Our evolutionary ancestors had to learn to cooperate with one another. The stronger the emotional bonds within groups, the greater the chances of survival, so “kindness genes” were etched into the human genome. Today, when we are kind to each other, we feel a connection, and new relationships are forged, or existing ones strengthened. Nothing feels better than a genuinely kind interaction. Let’s create more of these.

Kindness is attractive.

Honestly, I’ll take a kind person over a popular/cute person any day. We live in a very society so soft skills are usually pushed aside. When someone is genuinely kind, I don’t know about you all, but it definitely helps regain my faith in humanity. On a friend level, a kind person makes me want to include them in my inner circle simply because I truly believe they understand that life can be hard for and they have found a reason to be someone who helps rather than hurts. For a significant other, kind qualities allow me to see the bigger picture easier. If kindness is a strength for someone I am interested in, I can better reason how they will act in certain situations and have faith that they won’t be spiteful or vindictive, even when they may have all right to be. Sign me up.

Kindness with no chill equals change.

There’s a quote I love that goes along the lines of “kindness creates a ripple with no logical ending”. There are many times that someone has been kind to me in which I later shared the experience with someone else, tweeted about it, posted about it, took a picture of it, etc. That person was kind at that moment but the result was something that went beyond that one interaction. When you are kind and you are kind often, it creates change, softens a heart, and/or creates an example for others to follow. The Starbucks “Pay it Forward” campaign displays that perfectly. An act of kindness at a Starbucks drive-thru in Florida inspired an 11-hour chain of paying-it-forward. A woman drove up and paid for her own iced coffee at 7 a.m. Wednesday at a St. Petersburg store, and also asked to pay for a caramel macchiato for the driver behind her, who then did the same for the next customer. After a few people continued the chain, the employees started keeping a tally on a piece of paper by the window. By 1:30 p.m., 260 people had paid it forward, according to the Tampa Bay Times, ordering their own drinks and paying for one for the stranger behind them. After people ordered their drinks and drove up to the window, barista Vu Nguyen explained that the drink had already been paid for and asked if they'd like to return the favor. In total, 378 people agreed to keep it going. Amazing. Put and watch it develop….then tell me about it.

Kindness makes us happier.

And who doesn’t want to be happier? When we do something kind for someone else, we feel good. On a spiritual level, many people feel that this is because it is the right thing to do and so we’re tapping into something deep and profound inside us that says, “This is who I am.” On a biochemical level, it is believed that the good feeling we get is due to elevated levels of the brain’s natural versions of morphine and heroin, which we know as endogenous opioids. They cause elevated levels of dopamine in the brain, so we get a natural high, often referred to as “Helper’s High.”

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post!

I hope to learn more kind facts from all of you.

- be the kindest -

Alicia Patten, KAE Founder


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