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It's something that our parents and grandparents told us
about, but which doesn't seem to hold much sway in our modern, market
society where everything has a price tag
When did it happen? We now live in an age of skepticism, rapid
communications and 24-hour news cycles. The dominant sentiment seems
to be "what's in it for me?" How did our society
become such a cold, hard place? Surely there's some kind of antidote
to this perpetual negativity and mistrust.
And here it is. We want to inject some much-needed warmth and
fuzziness into the world to offset some of our collective cynicism.
"One random act of kindness can bring a smile to someone's face.
You can literally change their life for the better just by being kind…
Let's counteract the negative by being proactively positive."
Wise words indeed. And the funny thing with kindness is that, like
laughter and yawning, it's highly contagious and has the potential to
spread quickly from person to person. It's the Pay It Forward
principle – where the recipient of a kind deed repays it
forward to a third party (where it can continue to ripple
outwards) instead of back to the original benefactor (where
it becomes contained in a closed transaction).
In other words, paying it forward allows the kindness to multiply exponentially.
The quality of kindness is now something that's viewed by many of us
as quaint and "old school". It's something that our parents
and grandparents told us about, but which doesn't seem to hold much
sway in our modern, market society where everything has a price tag.
Kindness isn't deemed sexy, and therefore can't be used to sell anything.
But the real irony is that true kindness is still something we all
appreciate and recognize when we're the recipients of it. For both men
and women, it's usually the personal quality most prized in a partner,
right up there with a good sense of humour and the ability to fart the
Maybe one of the reasons kindness is so publicly invisible yet so
privately valued is because it seems to have become so rare. The
material side of life is primarily what drives a market society and
there's not much room for "touchy feely" emotions like kindness.
Let's encourage people to "actively participate in doing random
acts of kindness regularly". Maybe this can help restore the
balance and bring a warm fuzzy glow to our competitive, overdrawn,