Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle. – Plato
The art of kindness is an underrated art. Ask anyone around you whether or not they think kindness is important, and more often than not, about ninety percent of them would tell you that it is important.
why is kindness important? A question we find an easy answer to. Yet, it only takes a glance at society to see that we still have a long way to go when it comes to mastering kindness. This, generally, stems from the fact that despite professing it on the surface, some of us don’t really understand .
Others who do, don’t really understand the complete facets of kindness.
In this article, we explore 11 crucial reasons why is kindness important, shedding even more light on why to progress as a society, we must place a higher emphasis on kindness and begin to show it more.
Kindness in Two Forms
Before we move on thoroughly into highlighting the importance of kindness, it is first crucial that we understand what the term means in the first place.
To do this, we have to look at the whole idea of kindness from two angles – as something we do unto others and as something we give to ourselves.
○ Kindness to Others
Showing kindness to others is perhaps the most popular phrase humans throw about without really committing to it. Many don’t even really know what it means in the first place.
To many, showing kindness implies going out of their ways to do something grand and unbelievable for others. Some even believe that they can’t be kind to others until the act of kindness makes them suffer in one way or another.
Generally, though, this isn’t usually the case.
We don’t have to hurt ourselves to be kind to others. Simple acts of kindness such as giving a compliment and offering someone your seat all go a long way in making a difference in someone else’s life.
The more mature you are, the more helpful and kind you are. The reason is that your maturity level is proportional to your kindness.
○ Kindness to Oneself
The most obscure of the two forms of kindness, “kindness to oneself” is usually overlooked by many because they feel as though it should be a given.
While this is right and kindness to oneself should always be a constant feature in our lives, it usually isn’t. In fact, it isn’t rare to find people who have mastered being kind to others who still haven’t realized that they have to be kind to themselves, too.
Not only is being kind to ourselves essential for our personal growth and the growth of our communities, but it is also one of the best ways to be kinder to others.
In short, if we don’t master the art of being kind to ourselves, it becomes a lot more challenging to be kind to other people.
Why is kindness important? 11 Reasons why being kind matters
As we grow up, we learn that being kind is a good thing. We are raised in a society where we are taught to be kind and to help others, but why? If we think about it for just a little while, the answer seems fairly obvious.
This list is not comprehensive but it contains 11 of the most powerful reasons that being kind matters in the world.
1. Tremendous emotional return for minimal effort
Kindness is something of a cheat code to life. Once we master it, it has a way of bestowing us with a dose of happiness that very few things in life can.
Perhaps this is because we’re all wired to always look out for our neighbors deep down, no matter our differences. We know that our best bet for happiness is when others around us are happy, too.
Kindness has such a way of making people happy that it offers a tremendous emotional return for minimal effort on our path.
It is a great way to find our values without having to question ourselves too much. Life can get very complex, and when this happens, it is refreshing to know that we can always resort to a few acts of kindness here and there to get back on track and get back in touch with our core values.
In short, it is almost a miracle that small, random acts of kindness can bring about so much happiness and fulfillment. Yet, through numerous personal experiences, many will testify that this is true.
2. Kindness is Contagious
Kindness is a language that the deaf can hear, and the blind can see. – Mark Twain
It is no secret that evil traits tend to spread faster than good ones. There is a thing about the hearts of men that make it so easy to corrupt, and this corruption spreads faster than anyone to keep up with.
One of the few positive traits capable of this kind of rapid spread is kindness. This is why we all owe it ourselves and to our communities, to spread as much kindness so that others, and even the upcoming generation, can emulate it.
“Small Kindness” Movement
Seiji Kaya is an advocate for kindness and peace. He has started the “Small Kindness” movement, which was established to highlight the power of kindness and how it can bring people together.
This movement is aimed at being a positive force in society that can overcome differences, break down prejudice, and bring us closer together as humans.
Every day, you have the opportunity to make the world better by being kinder than you were yesterday.
3. Kindness Builds Bridges
Kindness is important because it has a way of touching the human heart as no other action can. This is why even the most adamant heart, under the most stressful conditions, can succumb and be alleviated by a small act of kindness.
Kindness is a bridge that connects people from different backgrounds, races, and cultures. Kindness starts in the home, with parents cultivating a sense of empathy in their children. It starts in schools by having an open dialogue around kindness to help students understand that they have the power to change the world.
No gifts or compliments or apologies can touch the act as an act of genuine compassion. This is why we should all practice kindness.
4. It Helps Lift Mental Blocks
It can be hard and challenging for some people to overcome their self-defeating thoughts and beliefs about themselves, but there are ways to do so. It all starts when we practice kindness towards oneself as well as those around us.
Kindness has a way of healing our souls from deep within. Mental blocks such as emotional stress and low self-esteem can all be lifted by acts of self-kindness or kindness to others.
In a study by the University of California, Berkeley, it was found that people who get a lot of encouragement and support from others in their lives are more likely to achieve their goals.
Studies show that mental blocks can be lifted when we expose ourselves to kindness. When we witness acts of kindness, we become happier and energized, and this positive energy can fuel us in overcoming our own limitations.
Some studies have even found that there is a direct correlation between acts of kindness with happiness among people who receive them.
More often than not, the stress in our everyday lives occurs as a result of a mental block. Psychologically we are so drained that our body has no choice but to react and shut down.
While there are quite a few ways to try and lift this block, very few are as effective as being kind. Kindness produces a sense of pride in us, which makes us feel good about ourselves, and lifts whatever psychological stressor we may be experiencing at that moment.
Kindness also has a way of boosting self-esteem. The gratitude we receive from people we show kindness to, the pride we feel in ourselves for making someone’s day, and the joy we see in their eyes can all go a long way in helping us feel better about ourselves.
It’s just human nature.
This, in turn, reinforces our beliefs that we are indeed worthy, that we are indeed capable. By doing so, we start to trust more in ourselves, consolidate our positive behavior, and increase our sense of self-worth. A kind person is a confident person.
5. It is Good Karma
In its simplest definition, karma is the belief that whatever we do has a way of coming back to repay us, whether in a good or bad way. The kindness of karma tends to come back either directly or indirectly.
Scenario 1: Direct Rewards From Kindness
By saying there is a direct form of karma from kindness, we mean that whatever good we do to people can make them repay us directly in similar way. This obeys the Universal Law of Compensation.
This can happen, for example, when we show kindness to someone we didn’t even know was in a position to help us. But it turns out that they can, and they do. For every action we perform, there is always a equivalent reaction.
Direct karma from kindness can also take a long time, wherein we show kindness to someone, and they, in turn, find themselves in a position to be kind to us in the future, and they do.
Scenario 2: Indirect Rewards From Kindness
Regardless of whether or not the person we showed kindness to comes back and repays it, usually, there is still always some form of indirect reward to be gotten from any kind act.
It could even be that when this good karma comes back, we don’t wouldn’t even realize why.
For instance, someone we helped at some point in the past may then help someone else because of us, and this act, in turn, inspires others to help someone who then helps us.
All in all, regardless of how indirect it is, showing kindness has a way of coming back to impact us positively.
6. Kindness Provides Clarity
So many people have had their eureka moments right at the point of showing kindness to others as explained in the book “Kindness, Clarity, and Insight” which was compiled from teachings of Dalai Lama foremost Buddhist leader of our time.
The reasons for this are numerous and differ from case to case, but usually, it all boils down to the fact that helping others has a way of making us feel things we wouldn’t have felt otherwise.
The culmination of this novel emotion and the serotonin release we experience from this simple event make us begin to see ourselves and the entire world more clearly.
Of course, the importance of this clarity can not be overstated as it can help set us on a path towards unprecedented achievements in life.
7. It Can Brighten up Someone Else’s Day
It is impossible to overestimate the joy that a simple act of kindness from us can bring to someone else’s life.
We all know how challenging the world can be. Sometimes we get so pushed to the brink of our breaking points that a simple setback can tip us right over and force us to break down.
The good news, though, is that in such cases, a simple act of kindness can also bring us back and help us recuperate.
This is why kindness is so important. Just a smile from you can help someone else regain the composure they need to face the day with optimism and achieve incredible success.
8. Life is to Live and Love Fully
No one has ever become poor by giving. – Anne Frank
Fully alive, fully human, fully aware. Fully alive in the here and now. Fully human with all of our flaws. Fully aware that we know nothing for certain, that reality is constantly changing moment by moment, that everything has many sides and perspectives, that everything has many meanings.
Kindness is to be kind without the expectation of receiving kindness in return. Kindness is to listen to someone with complete attention without an agenda or distraction or judgment or conclusion; it’s about understanding another person’s experience as completely as possible before speaking again.
The world is full of suffering, but it is full of the overcoming of it too.
Life is to live and love fully.
9. It is a form of Catharsis
Cathartic experiences help us release pent-up negative energy. They free us of our psychological chains and replace them with a vibrant, positive, and optimistic freshness to take on life’s challenges and emerge victorious.
Kindness has been the source of the most fulfilling catharsis that many people have had in life.
Psychological release we always needed
The pure joy that comes from seeing others become better thanks to our help can go a long way in providing that psychological release we have always needed.
It doesn’t just end there, too.
Even in terms of kindness to oneself, sometimes all it takes to experience this mental release, and the pleasant catharsis that comes with it is a little dose of self-appreciation, self-acknowledgment, and self-acceptance.
10. Being Kind Actually Increases Life Span
Some don’t know this, but it has actually been scientifically verified that acts of kindness do have a way of increasing our life span.
So, not only does being kind help us live our lives to the fullest and happiest we can be, but it also has a way of prolonging our days on earth.
Kindness is a Much Better Option to Selfishness
This is even more fascinating to think about once we consider that so many people go through life with selfishness and self-obsession because they believe that this is their best chance of survival.
Yet, anyone who seeks a happier life through cruelty and selfishness is no different from someone who seeks a cure for a disease by getting further exposed to the organisms that cause this disease in the first place.
Once we realize everything we need for a long and fulfilling life can be found through kindness, we start to understand that there is no need to be selfish or cruel in life.
11. Kindness is the Perfect Example to Set for Younger Generation
It almost goes without saying that if there is an example we should always set for the younger generation to emulate, it should always be kindness and compassion.
Kindness is a virtue that is nurtured from a very early age and many people seem to think that it is lost amongst the younger generation. Children are always looking up to us, and they will take cues from what we do to improve their own lives. We need to show them that it’s good to be kind even when they’re not getting anything in return.
Kindness is the most powerful and natural innate stimulus that humans need. It is one of the best character traits to teach the younger generation, which is why we should be extending this virtue everywhere we go.
The great writer Henry James once described the three most important things in human life. The first, he said, was being kind. The second? Being kind. The third? Being kind, too.
Looking at the eleven points we’ve highlighted above, it is not hard at all to see why he said what he said. Kindness has always been, and will always remain, one of the most important facets of human lives and interaction.
Once we master kindness, we elevate ourselves, those around us, and our society as well. No other human action offers such a comprehensive benefit with absolutely no side effects.
This is why being kind matters.