Researchers have shown that we completely underestimate the power of influence that we have through simple random acts of kindness.
Giving a stranger a smile, a kind word, a cup of coffee - not only has a huge effect on the recipient of kindness, but also has a dramatically positive effect on the giver of kindness.
In reality though, the mental bias that contributes to the underestimation of the power that we wield through these acts - largely restricts more of us from being kind to others.
“We have this negativity bias when it comes to social connection. We just don’t think the positive impact of our behaviors is as positive as it is,” said Marisa Franco, a psychologist and author of “Platonic: How the Science of Attachment Can Help You Make — and Keep — Friends,” who did not work on the recent research.
“With a study like this, I hope it will inspire more people to actually commit random acts of kindness,” she said.
In so many ways kindness in our world is in serious short supply.
Businesses operate with a mandate to increase profits - not distribute kindness.
People work on Wall Street to earn excessive amounts of money for themselves - not to spread that good fortune to those who are less fortunate.
Yet our lack of focus on kindness is making the world harder, more brutal for everyone; a place that increasingly people are wanting to check out of.
“People tend to think that what they are giving is kind of little, maybe it’s relatively inconsequential,” Dr. Kumar said. “But recipients are less likely to think along those lines. They consider the gesture to be significantly more meaningful because they are also thinking about the fact that someone did something nice for them.” - via
When is comes to simple acts of kindness we tend to totally overthink it.
We totally downplay the power that we have to positively influence somebody else's life by just being encouraging and thoughtful.
It might sound too simple to consider, but well worth a try for a couple of days.