Are we wired to be kind? Absolutely! Although I think some would disagree. It seems that the business model that’s operated for the past hundred years or so has been based on ‘survival of the fittest’, with the idea that humans are inherently selfish.
I spent a day earlier in the week at a primary school where I was talking to young children about the importance of kindness. It was a school outside Glasgow, Scotland, on the invitation of my friend, John – aka Mr McLellan. The school has a dedicated ASD unit.
I’ve been thinking a bit recently about finding the balance between accepting things as they are and going with the flow and asserting your will or pushing for what you want. There’s a balance. There’s a time and a place for both...
I spent some time in New York City last weekend. I’m writing a series of pieces for Psychologies Magazine called ‘The Kindness Conversation’ where I basically have, well, conversations about kindness. In New York, I had my kindness conversation with Cynthia Germanotta, mother of Lady Gaga.
Kindness is highly contagious. It’s more contagious, in fact, than the cold. The contagiousness of kindness is powered by what’s known as ‘elevation’, a description coined by social psychologist, Jonathan Haidt. It’s a sense of warmth, satisfaction, expansion, even gratitude.
As an ex-pharmaceutical scientist, I enjoy reframing the term ‘side-effects’. We typically think of side-effects in the negative, as in the side-effects of drugs. But many of our positive behaviors also have side-effects.
A study published by medics at McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, showed that Therapeutic Touch (TT) – the laying on of hands – benefited premature infants. It was a double blind and randomized trial involving 20 infants of gestational age less than 29 weeks. Ten received 5-minute TT sessions on 3 consecutive days and ten did not. Measurements of Heart Period Variability (HPV) were taken 5 minutes before, during and after the treatment.