Why Is Kindness Important?
This quote reminded me of my parents. Growing up, I witnessed how they would give their all to help those around them. When I was young, I never quite fully understood why my parents would get out of their way to provide not only emotional but also monetary support to others when we, ourselves, didn’t have much. At a tender age, I would seek answers for, “What is it about kindness? Why is kindness important?”
I remember not having enough to pay for the midterms and final exams fee at certain times in primary and secondary school. My siblings and I had to go to the headmaster’s office and ask him to sign our promissory notes just so we could take the exams. I would be so embarrassed and didn’t tell anyone— not even my friends in school. I even had to use a pencil in my textbook exercises so that I could erase my answers on the pages at the end of the school year. It was because my brother, who was just a year younger than me, would still use the textbook the year after. My teachers would reprimand me and say that I wasn’t following instructions because I used a pencil rather than a ballpoint pen in answering the exercises. And I could not, and would not even dare tell them my reason.
It has been said that when you help others, do not expect anything in return. You do it out of compassion and, as ideal as it may sound, out of love for humanity.
So what is it about kindness? How can it benefit the giver?
- Kindness increases happiness. A team of researchers in the universities of Oxford and Bournemouth identified 21 studies proving that being kind makes us happier. Performing random acts of kindness activates areas of pleasure, social connection, and trust in our brains.
- Kindness creates a positive loop in our minds. Because it makes us happier, it also makes us kinder. When we are happy, we are more likely to feel giving and kind to others.
- It makes us different. Kindness makes us special to those we helped. We can gain friends through it. In a way, being kind is a brilliant approach to build and expand our network.
- Kindness causes a multiplier effect. It is contagious. One person being kind to others might inspire them to be the same. The movie, Pay It Forward, fits this description.
- It makes people trust us more. In the workplace, leaders who express kindness to their employees build stronger bonds and relationships with them.
- If you are a business owner, kindness helps increase employee performance. According to O.C. Tanner Institute, giving employee recognition, praise, or a simple thank you contribute to a high-performing culture. Consequently, kind leadership means good business.
- It helps us become healthier. It lowers our stress or anxiety levels and even decreases pain because of the endorphins and feel-good hormones released at the time of doing the act.
- Kindness bridges gaps between people. It surpasses language barriers, gender orientation, ethnicity, religion, and anything else that causes people to miscommunicate and hate.
Kindness is the secret to a successful and fulfilling life. No matter how small an act of kindness might be, it is good for both the giver and the receiver. It can have a bigger impact than we realize. When it is both given and received with no expectations in return, our lives are calmer, happier, and we build meaningful bonds with others.