Why spread the kindness

Feb 16, 2016

Why should Adults exemplify kind behaviour?


The word ‘kindness’ comes with a plethora of synonyms: kindliness, kindheartedness, warmheartedness, affection, warmth, gentleness, concern, care, Moreconsideration, helpfulness, thoughtfulness, unselfishness, selflessness, altruism, compassion, sympathy, understanding, big-heartedness, benevolence, benignity, friendliness, hospitality, neighborliness, generosity, magnanimity, charitableness.

But, for all those synonyms, kindness is a word that is simply and universally understood to mean one thing - treating others as we would like to be treated.
Kindness can’t be taught and it is as individual in its expression as our smile. It can, however, be learned, and it can be learned especially well when we are young. Conversely, other - less benevolent - behaviours can be, and are, learned very quickly when we leave the protective nest of home to start school at the tender age of five. Today, we are too well acquainted with the truth of this fact. Witness the many stories of bullying at schools, from kindergarten on through high school - some with horrific, even tragic, consequences.

Children absorb everything they see and hear, just like sponges. This is both good and bad news. The bad news is this: it means children will, most often, take the path of least resistance and mimic the behaviour of the majority of their peers. If the culture in a school tends toward bullying behaviour, or if those in charge fail to curb such tendencies within their institution, this unhealthy attitude will continue, to say the least, and escalate, to say the worst. The good news is this means they can also learn, and quickly, the rewards that come with showing compassion at every turn, the good feeling and self esteem that comes with being kind.
Adults, of course, are only children grown up. As in any business or corporate setting, a company (or school) culture always trickles from the top down. In my opinion, it shows great leadership when those in charge of any institution or organization, no matter how nobly run, can see the value in improving relationships and relationship-building through the implementation of displayed kindness and common courtesy. We know that children are terrific at mimicry, and we are their mentors in the community at large.

Kindness is contagious

As a happy result of becoming involved in the Spread the Kindness movement through my step-daughter, Steffi, I have learned more about the impact of inspiring kindness – the ripple effect of kindness and the changes it brings about. I’ve also learned that kindness is one of the easiest behaviours to adopt, even with the tiniest effort. Witness the contagious effect of kindness, as reported in this 2010 study shared by Shannon Mehner: http://tinyurl.com/zn8ynrh
Today, the internet abounds with testimonials from school principals, teachers and industry leaders alike, all detailing the positive changes wrought by kindness workshops attended by students, teachers, employees, and directors. This is a movement that is growing steadily, and one that can only benefit us all 

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