Kindness seemed to go missing in today’s society. It seemed life had taken us to a place where we no longer valued kindness as a trait. In fact, kindness had been replaced with self-importance and wanting to stay impersonal. But we rediscovered that kindness is important and powerful in the way it brings us together with our fellow human beings.
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- Kindness is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. Affection, gentleness, warmth, concern, and care are words that are associated with kindness. While kindness has a connotation of meaning someone is naive or weak, that is not the case. Being kind often requires courage and strength. Kindness is an interpersonal skill.
Where did we go wrong?
People are more connected to their devices than to what is happening around them very often. They are self-absorbed. Kindness is often the last thing they think about.
Without kindness our world would be filled with strife, discontent and anger. We’d see relationships fall apart or never start, countries disintegrate into constant war and our world completely changed.
According to Dr John and Julie Gottman – founders of the Gottman Institute, which studies relationships – every successful relationship is, in the end, supported by kindness. What’s more, they claim the most important time you should be kind is during some type of conflict, such as when you are arguing with a partner and yet, this is the hardest time for most people to be kind.
As children and even as adults, we look for kindness from our family and friends. We give and receive kindness every day in some form.
Kindness moves us. We remember past kindnesses done to and by us. Kindness nourishes, heals, strengthens and uplifts us.
Many studies have shown that kindness though, is not only a good moral value but it is good for you. It benefits your brain, your body and your emotions in many ways. It is a foundation for a meaningful life.
Kindness is important and powerful in the way it connects us. It reminds us that we have always had the power, it is within us and there to be used to help ourselves and others.
Why The World Had Become Less Kind
Is it that we no longer cared about others? Do we believe kindness makes us weak? Is the lack of kindness from some global change?
The truth is, kindness had become less and less important in our daily lives for several reasons.
We’re in a hurry. Life had become so fast paced, filled with appointments and places to be that we no longer took the time to simply listen to someone.
Technology has taken place of the human face-to-face, voice-to-voice interactions of the past. No longer do we pick up the phone or meet face-to-face to talk to others. Now we spend our time texting, posting, getting involved in others drama or simply playing mindless games on our cell phones, tablets, computers and even our watches.
Technology has allowed us to say it’s okay to be late all the time. After all, we can simply text our friend or family to say we’re running late and they’ll know straight away. It’s taken away the common courtesies of making the effort to be on time, saying thank you, hello, nice to meet you, please and “how can I help you”.
So many no longer smile at others when they see them, mainly because their head is down staring at their phone.We no longer sympathize or help someone who is having a rough day. Instead we place an emoji on our social media post or in a text and call it done.
There’s an app for everything. Want to have a relationship? Use this app. Want to order your dinner? Use this app. Are these apps taking away the connectedness we once had that created kindness? Maybe they are, its easier and faster in today’s busy world.
Selfish or modern society?
Have we become very selfish? Self-centeredness and greed is another reason kindness has taken a backseat. Many people are focused on their own lives, on getting ahead and doing whatever is necessary to beat the other guy.
People are more interested in taking care of their own self before they reach out and extend some type of kindness to others. We’ve become a society of “me first” that wasn’t seen as often just a few years ago.
Our environment causes us to withdraw from others. Living in crowded cities among strangers can make you quickly hide your natural tendency to be generous and kind to others. With crime, kidnappings, murders and other fears running wild in many cities, people have found it safer to keep to themselves. Road rage keeps people from stopping to help someone with car trouble.
Our upbringing was different 30, 40 and 50 years ago. We believed in helping each other. Neighbors looked out for each other and each others children. People weren’t afraid to help the poor and needy. People and children were taught to respect others and to be trustworthy and honest.
We cared for others, we knew kindness and caring was a strength.
Today people are more afraid to show their kindness. There is fear that we will be attacked for what we say or do. We don’t want to appear vulnerable and to get hurt so we attack with words and actions as a way to self-protect ourselves.
Kindness had taken a backseat to greed, technology, poor manners and the environment we live in. Instead of showing kindness we were afraid to be seen as the nice guy because we might be taken advantage of. So many seemed to see kindness as a weakness and some still do.
Isn’t it sad in so many ways, that it took a pandemic to bring kindness back. Whatever made it return though, it is still a good thing it has come back.
We have seen so much kindness and caring in the last few months, that it is really heartwarming. Neighbours helping neighbours they didn’t know before. Helping other people who live in the area. Having socially distanced get togethers outside and chatting to one another. Actually speaking face to face and finding they like it.
Many have enjoyed the social interaction with real people again and have got to know people in their local community. Communities have pulled together to help each other and those more vulnerable. Groups from different religions helped all those in need in their communities despite differing beliefs.
Kindness and caring for our fellow humans won through. The ordinary people put others first. They reconnected with their families, reached out to those they had become disconnected from.
The majority of the human race did what they do best when there is trouble, they stood together, protected the vulnerable and helped in any way they could. The Pandemic has been an awful thing to happen, lives have been lost other lives have been damaged but through it all we cared for each other and came together in the way we used to.
We were and are just human beings doing the best we can TOGETHER!
Technology is good when it helps, not so good when it separates. How many times did you go out to dinner and see families all focussed on their phones?
What really stayed with me was seeing a big family, the adults all chatting together and a couple of teenagers sitting on the end with their backs to the family, on their phones. Not talking or interacting in any way together. At the time it really saddened me that they seemed so separate and alone despite their family being nearby.
The pandemic taught us how to reconnect, to take life at a slower pace and to be grateful for what we have. I hope that lesson doesn’t go away and we remember that kindness is important and powerful because it can bring us together, showing our families, friends and strangers, that we care.
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