Here’s why kindness matters. Learn about how to bring more kindness into your life, by making it one of your core beliefs and values.
It’s probably fairly obvious that kindness is always important. However, I feel that it’s something we have lost sight of. While we may be kind to those who are close to us or those who share our culture and beliefs, we don’t necessarily apply an expectation of kindness to all of our interactions.
It’s probably just as obvious how a lack of kindness in our political, economic, and social environment is destructive. It is destructive at a national and global level. It is equally destructive at a personal level.
So after that rather broad declaration, here are some actionable ways to bring more kindness into your life.
Kindness as an evolutionary advantage
Did you know that kindness matters from an evolutionary standpoint? Darwin’s survival of the fittest may explain genetic variations in plants and animals, but it doesn’t mean that it’s survival of the most aggressive.
Humankindness: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bergman provides quite a bit of compelling evidence to suggest that kindness is our evolutionary advantage.
We are a social species. We like to share knowledge and teach each other skills. This interest in societal sharing is why we have collectively developed language, agriculture, and technology. None of our modern advances would be possible without our innate need to share our skills and teach each other.
As such, I believe that kindness ought to be a universal value, a core belief, and something we can all agree on. Because really, in our everyday interactions with others… who wouldn’t want to have a bit of kindness?
1. Kindness as a Core Belief
Your core beliefs are your deeply held assumptions about the world. They impact how you feel about yourself, other people, and the world around you. They are a key part of your identity and feel like universal truths, even when they aren’t.
- Making kindness a core belief means acting with kindness in all your interactions with others.
- Kindness is a universal trait. It doesn’t matter what someone else’s politics are. Or if someone has done something you don’t like. No one deserves to be treated unkindly.
- However, it doesn’t mean you have to give up everything you need for the sake of others. Having good boundaries is kind to yourself and others.
- It also doesn’t mean that you have to accept unkindness from others. Self-care is always important.
2. Pay attention to how being kind makes you feel.
The best part about acting with kindness is that it feels good! My bet is that thanking the checkout person or bus driver makes you feel good.
Getting angry at the driver who cut you off, doesn’t feel good.
You can’t control how others treat you… but acting with kindness will change how you feel.
3. Value Kindness in Others
Probably one of the biggest downfalls of our society is that we value externalized traits that have more to do with luck than personal effort. For example, we value:
- owning nice things
more than we value kindness in others.
Even if we say, “money and success don’t matter…” do we truly believe that? Why are we posting about our successes on social media? Why do we use filters to make ourselves look bright and blemish-free?
The best way to value kindness in others is to hang out with people who are usually kind! And avoid spending time with people who are sometimes mean… even if they aren’t mean to you.
- People are pretty consistent. If someone is unkind to others, then they will likely be unkind to you at some point.
- It doesn’t feel good to hang out with someone who isn’t kind. It might be exciting or entertaining… but that doesn’t mean it feels good.
A Utopia of Kindness
Anyhow… that about sums up my thoughts on why kindness matters. If you made it this far, I’m sure you realize the practical implications. While we can’t make everyone act with kindness, we can certainly make it a key part of our values and beliefs.
A society that values kindness above all else, is certainly utopian in my view!