What do you imagine to be the most important quality that women and men seek in a sustained relationship? David Buss tested over 10,000 people from 37 different cultures and concluded that consistently the most important attribute was kindness.* Whereas this conclusion may not be surprising, it certainly is reassuring. Kindness is powerful and universally appreciated. It is valued in all our relationships and interactions.
In all our hurrying about, do we spend enough time being kind? Do we speculate what random or deliberate acts of kindness we might do to improve another’s day? The word LOVE is sung and wrote about, but is that really what the world needs more of? Yes, love is wonderful, but how about just being and acting in a kind and thoughtful way?
Kindness is an action word; it is something one actually does (or does not do). Kindness can be seen and explicitly experienced by others. Acting kindly requires one to think about or imagine someone else’s situation and directly engage with satisfying that request. Kindness and thoughtfulness are a team, with thoughtfulness starting the process.
Mindfully being kind has strong synergy: not only do you make some else’s moment better, but it also lifts your spirits, and the opportunities for kindness are almost infinite. Simple actions like being courteous, generous, helpful or differential are the sparks that start the kindness cycle. Others do note these actions if they are done in an authentic and selfless manner. The more random and anonymous these acts of kindness are, the more it improves your wellbeing and joy in that moment.
We as a species are described as mankind. Let’s release our kindness and live up to our name and calling. Please be kind (and tolerant).
Reflection Source: www.smallercup.org
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*: Buss, David M. 1989. “Sex Differences in Human Mate Preferences.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences