“Spread positivity; don’t matter how big, or how small”_Beyonce
ABOUT ALTRUISM AND KINDNESS II
What can we do to become a kinder person, just like Yenny (whom I have written about in my last post)? Here are some suggestions from Peter Singer, a moral philosopher.
1. When you consider volunteering at different organizations, engage in activities that you enjoy and are good at, and/or support the causes that you deeply care about. By following your heart, passions, and initiatives that are meaningful to you, your personality is aligned with a higher purpose and that is when you are able to make the most impactful difference.
2. “Spread the love” or like Beyonce advised “Spread positivity; don’t matter how big, or how small” – encourage others around you to join you in your volunteering efforts and to use their talents and skills to help others in their communities. As it often happens, kindness can also express itself in inspiring others – in being a fearless leader, a compassionate teacher, an encouraging friend, an invigorating partner, or a galvanizing parent. Send an electrifying message of kindness whenever you have a chance to do so because it is contagious – others will most likely follow your lead.
“Do the best you can until you know better. When you know better, do better ”_Oprah
3. Whenever you notice people around you engaging in even a small acts of kindness and altruistic gestures, reward them. Praise them for being kind and doing the right thing, even if you know that they could still do more or better. And remember, we all fall short at times.
4. Avoid overconfidence and be willing to continuously reflect on your acts of altruism and kindness. This is because the world is constantly evolving, and it is hard to predict what is going to happen in the future, especially during a technological revolution that changes the way we engage with one another. Humility is key. We need to be open to learning and revising our convictions, recognizing, as John Stuart Mill put it that “originality, diversity, and experiments in living” are essential for discovering the best of what life has to offer. But Oprah said it best. “Do the best you can until you know better. When you know better, do better”.
So why is all this important? As it turns out being kind enhances our own wellbeing and life satisfaction. Next week I’ll discuss ways in which kindness enriches our daily lives.
Please stay tuned and in the meantime share with us what kindness, benevolence, and altruism mean to you. I would love to hear your thoughts!
Dr. Ewelina Swierad