Get High, Save the World

by Josh

Around people I admire, I often find myself trying to seem smart, witty, funny and special (and frequently talking an awful load of rubbish).
A lot of popular people, movies and culture advertise and model the image that standing out and elbowing others aside and getting what you want and being the best and being exclusive (rather than inclusive) is what one should do when trying to be successful.

But more and more, people seem to forget, that it is among all cultures one single trait that we like most about others.
It is so simple that it almost hurts.
It’s a gem and it is what we love most about others.

Kindness.

To me, being kind, includes many wider principles, such as

Generosity / Sharing
Being of service to others
Forgiveness
Acknowledgement (also the things you might have been wrong about)
Apologizing

Humans are herd-animals, and supporting others is hard-wired into our brain.
Doing good, your brain releases some good old home-made opioids which trigger the release of dopamine. BAM you feel great.
You get high, totally free of charge or any side-effects.
We might even enter a state where some oxytocin is released.
This hormone is responsible for making people feel close to us (and also protects you from heart-diseases).
Kindness is the one single drug, that our brain never gets used to.
Again and again it has been proven in experiments that the positive effects of treating others far outweigh the flimsy and short-lived positive effects of treating yourself.
A giver’s high is the typical win-win situation.
Others feel good and because they feel good, you feel good.
Everybody is high and everyone benefits.

It seems a redundant point, but kindness improves our relationships.
Be kind, especially to those close and important you. Don’t take them for granted.
In everyday conflicts, we can use the principle of kindness to breathe away our immediate emotional reactions that are often so hurtful, destructive and terribly ineffective (that’s the German inside of me speaking).
Walking away from these situations, having reacted in a kind way rather than what our immediate emotions told us, we can enjoy a warm fuzz, knowing that we are giving our best to be our best (well, that and your body’s own awesome drugs).
P.S.

1.Small acts matter!
2.Don’t try and only take it for kindness if it is really ‘selfless’. We are selfish creatures, and there is no such thing as a really selfless deed.
If selfishness means being friendly, giving gifts and inviting others for dinner, that’s my cup of tea. Let’s all be selfish in that way 🙂

The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But is does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world more habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as our culture defined it.
—David Orr

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