Kindness is what we often seek in others but often not in ourselves. Have you ever wondered why that’s the case? Does this mean that we perceive kindness as a weakness that others can exploit? Or that we are too self-involved with ourselves that we cannot think beyond our own needs and think of others? These questions must indeed be disturbing for they contain a kernel of truth in them. From a genetic point of view, our species is hardwired to utilize any tool to its advantage to ensure its survival.
No one is claiming that unkind people should not be called out on account of their unkindness or that we should ignore such acts but the fact of the matter is that our personality traits are formed because of our early development and also in part, to our shared genetic knowledge. Early life was rarely kind to any species and every single species out there had to try just about every trick to ensure its survival; that included the mammals as well. And while today, we may perceive kindness as an indicator of strength in one’s character, it was perceived as the polar opposite just a few thousand years back.
So does this mean that kindness never existed in the ancient world and is more of a modern phenomenon? Nope, it did exist but the instinct to be kind was often suppressed in order to ensure one’s survival. But here’s the kicker, today the world is more developed and people have access to more facilities than they ever did before and enjoy greater access to the same. One would be mistaken in believing that the natural instinct for kindness would materialize more often but you would be mistaken for the opposite seems to be happening. With people spending more time online and less in-person to person interaction, their empathy to relate to others and the challenges that others face seems to be disappearing overnight.
This could well account for the reason why kindness and true kindness at that still seems to be a rare commodity in our world. And when you consider the fact that there are millions who go hungry each day or do not have access to the most basic of facilities or even drinking water, it should give us all pause. Granted that one person may not be able to do much but if we all promise to treat each other with some kindness and to show the same to those less fortunate by doing all in our power to help them, and then we would indeed be changing the world for the better. The ills of the world cannot be cured by just one act of kindness but rather it would take a concentrated and sustained effort on our part to make that happen. So the next time you come across a homeless man or a stray, try to treat them with kindness and do your little bit to help mankind become stronger again, by displaying kindness towards others.