Kindness is not often talked about in psychological terms. In a recent study, six-month-old infants were shown two videos. In one video, a person helped another person up a hill; while in the other video, a person prevented the other from going up the hill. The infants' responses were recorded to determine which video they preferred.
Overwhelmingly, these little infants responded positively to the “helping” video and wanted to watch it again and again. As human beings, we are naturally social creatures, and naturally helpful creatures who benefit greatly from offering support and kindness to one another.
Some schools in America and Europe are teaching children at the preschool and elementary levels some basic principles of Mindfulness Based Learning. Mindfulness Based Learning and Teaching tries to incorporate Kindness (as opposed to competitiveness), in a systematic way in the classroom. The results are astoundingly positive.
We can apply these values to our everyday lives too. Do something kind for someone else. Or, recognize the kindness you show towards others and give it value. These positive acts towards others, in turn keep our minds and bodies healthy.
For more information on Teaching Mindfulness in the Schools, look up “Educating From the Heart”(2011) by Aostre Johnson and Marilyn Webb Neagley.
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