Kindness series 5/5: On the future of kindness
Kindness has its routes from social awareness: only when we understand how somebody else is feeling can we engage from a place of kindness. Often we miss opportunities to support others with the kindness that we could offer simply because we don't realise that the other person is in need of kindness in the first place.
Social awareness as a component of emotional intelligence doesn't get taught at school. I find this a shame as a) the responsibility to convey social awareness to children lies mainly with the parents and b) school is the ideal place to develop social skills and an inherent understanding of how others are feeling.
I hope that one day we will fully understand that any future success at an individual level relies on our ability to be emotionally intelligent and work well with people. The younger we start working on our social competencies, the higher the potential to increase kindness for ourselves and others.
That said, there are many things we can do on a daily basis to pave the way for a successful future where kindness as a value takes centre stage: showing empathy for your co-workers, checking in on them informally to see how their day is going; making time to volunteer, even if it is only once per year; reaching out to people you haven't spoken to in a long time; showing forgiveness although you were right; offering help when you are not expected to.
Let's try and be role models when it comes to showing kindness to ourselves and others. And let's not forget that being kind to others doesn't only benefit them but also has a profound impact on your own mental wellbeing. You will know best how you can show up as your best version. Let us aim to do a bit more of that in the future.