Recently I was listening to a Sarah Talk podcast which included Socratic (or Street epistemology) discussion about karma, and it got me thinking about why I am so focused on kindness, do I think it will bring good karma?
The answer may surprise you.
It is actually no, I don’t.
I realize that when I am kind that does not mean in anyway that everyone will be kind back to me. Or the the Universe, or God, or some “Law of Attraction” BS will protect me from hurricanes, getting in an accident, or other generally shitty aspects of life that we all encounter. Let alone make me happy and rich.
So why bother with kindness then? Well even if it doesn’t guarantee a perfect life, it does generally improve the odds of having a better one. Even if nothing changes but the attitude you have, that in itself will help make for a better life.
When I do a Google search on the “scientific benefits of kindness” the synopsis I get back reads “Mortality is delayed, depression is reduced and well-being and good fortune are increased. Committing acts of kindness lowers blood pressure. ... Witnessing acts of kindness produces oxytocin, occasionally referred to as the 'love hormone' which aids in lowering blood pressure and improving our overall heart-health.” That seems like a pretty good deal to me.
I am learning from the study of positive psychology that neither it or kindness promises a perfect, wonderful life, like so many scams (religious and non) do. But it does offer evidence based tools to help make life better. And since all I know for sure that I have is one life, I’d like to try and make it better. So I will practice kindness and learn more ways to make life better, I hope that you will benefit from it.
This site is not fantasy about how to live the perfect, most wonderful life you could ever, ever imagine, hopefully it is a good resource to live a better one.
Keeping kindness real and evidence based.
I invite you to join the Thrive With Kindness Facebook group now!
Two years ago I discovered something about kindness and happiness during the holidays, because I wasn’t either. I was in a generally grumpy mood. I think reason was that we are supposed to be nice, kind, and cheerful during the holidays. It's like a societal obligation.
It's not really about being good for goodness sake, it's about being good because it's expected.
When the holidays were over I was like WOW, I can be happy, cheerful and kind now because I want to be, not because I'm expected to be!
And that's what this post is all about. Simply this happiness and kindness must come from inside you, it really can't be put on you by the expectations of others. It doesn't matter whether it's family, friends, school, work, religion, society or anything else.
To be happy, kindness and happiness has to be something you WANT to be and do with no obligation or expectation, it can not be something you feel you HAVE to do. It just won't work that way!
The good thing is that happiness is a very strong human desire, so it is something most people want
This blog is a go for launch!
T-minus 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
And we have lift off!
That said, this may not be a daily, weekly, or consistent blog, my more consistent posts will be in the Thrive With Kindness Facebook group, this space I will be using when I want to say more and go deeper than most Facebook posts do.
This is actually a relaunch, I first started this site as “Kindness Creates Happiness” back in 2015, I changed it to Kindness Activist in 2017 when I felt with things I saw happening in the world that we needed kindness as activism. I actually still think that but realized the tone was not right, Kindness Rocket hit me out of the blue in Feb of 2019 and I think that sets a positive, fun tone. Kindness as a way to accelerate and boost life launching us to greater happiness.
Clearly I have felt kindness and happiness are important subjects for years but what actually brought me to the point of relaunching this was depression. Depression over what I see happening in the country and the world, politically, economically, socially, and environmentally.
So that may seem like a rather odd way to start blogging about kindness and happiness, doesn't it?
In a way it is, but I feel strongly that for this site to be useful, it has to be real. If you are reading a site about how to be happier, it's most likely because you want to be happier. And perhaps you are struggling with how to have a happier life while thinking about many of the same concerns.
So I need to be real and say that it's OK where you and I are, it's a process. Let’s move forward in it. There is research, and tools available to help those of us not as naturally inclined live kinder and happier lives. That is what this site is about.
Years ago I discovered that a great tool for creating kindness, gratitude, and happiness in myself and others was a service that enabled me to create real, very personal, greeting cards that can include photos (try that with a store bought card!) online that are then printed and sent in the mail by them. Very cool but I had for various reasons, I wasn't totally sure of, stopped using or promoting it (it can be a home-based business as well). When my depression hit in the Fall of 2018 one of the things I knew that I needed to do was reconnect with this service. As I liked who I was and how I felt when I had been using it.
Problem, the person I was connected at the hip with, who was my go to resource for most anything to do with it and I are have very opposite views on world, political, economic, social, and environmental, and other issues. Now this is generally, I feel a very nice person so I tried to look past all that and agree to disagree. But things were being said, and views being expressed such that I realized that this relationship was something that had been holding me back from moving forward in this business for years and my depression got worse. Hard as it was I knew that I needed end it.
I didn’t think there was a good alternative for that service, but I did find another that I really like, and I connected with some people that share more of my values in it. We may not be a perfect match in values (no one ever is) but far more so than I had before and we are able to disagree in some areas and still treat each other with acceptance and respect.
I am not mentioning the name of this service here yet or linking to it as it is in transition from a Flash based system that is no longer well supported with many devices and web services to an HTML based system that should work with internet service or device. That is coming in just two weeks from this post, I have seen a sneak peak and can’t wait to share it! I am in fact using the existing Flash based service but am having to hack some things to get it to work, the HTML version will much smoother.
This will be just one of many things I will recommend on this site.
From articles and books, to videos, movies, Ted Talks, podcasts, and more including some of my own thoughts. I look forward to the journey and sharing it with you. I hope it benefits you even a small amount of how it is benefiting me.