by: Maria Corse
Seems like a no-brainer, right? How many times have you heard, “if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all,” in your lifetime or at least during your childhood? Did you realize all of the major and most of the minor world religions have a “golden rule”? Besides, it just makes you feel good to be a pleasant presence in the crowd. Positive actions attract positive emotions.
In that case, why on earth do we see and hear such disheartening cruelty? I know it isn't new; we have been treating each other badly from the beginning of time. The advent of Internet and social media just make it seem more prevalent. This is another basic anthropological concept called “The Other.” As humans, we feel most comfortable around others that have ideas that closely align to our own world view. And, it is easier to put down or show violence towards anything outside that comfort zone, because we perceive it internally as “bad”.
Is it possible to go beyond some of those natural tendencies? I believe as learning, growing human beings, it is! This quote from Neil DeGrasse Tyson, one of my favorite scientists, is great advice: “ My view is that if your philosophy is not unsettled daily then you are blind to all the universe has to offer.”
In order to follow his advice you have to be willing to leave your comfort zone and believe someone else may have a better idea or solution. That doesn't necessarily mean we have to adopt their view, it just translates into an understanding that we are all different, and that's okay. What an awesome opportunity to learn, and to become kinder and more empathetic to our fellow humans!
Can you imagine a world where everyone went out of their way to help or simply listen to someone else? What if we all made it our life mission to be kind, even when we are in a bad mood or are personally having a horrible, rotten, no-good day? There are multiple examples of kindness, publicized and invisible, occurring in every town in every part of the planet and it is making a difference.
This is your opportunity to influence the attitude in your corner of the world. Practice being gentle with your fellow humans, and they will pay it forward, because feeling good is contagious.