Kindness is rewarded, but if you are cruel, you only hurt yourself. This ancient proverb is over 3,000 years old, and medical science is proving this out. A study published in 2012, called “The Neuroscience of Sharing” by Jessie Poquerusse showed kindness benefits the giver as a result of the release of neurotransmitters responsible for the feelings of relaxation and contentment. Kindness is rewarded.
So, what is kindness. Kindness is good and loving behavior with a concern for others. It is placing the needs of another ahead of our own. It is not being selfish.
It is very easy to be selfish. We are wired to be selfish people. You do not have to teach children to be selfish. It is interesting the specific times during childhood we label: terrible twos; terrible/tumultuous teens. Both of these specific times are characterized by intense periods of selfishness.
A two year old is taking the first steps of independence. Two year olds are walking and have obtained freedom. They are no longer confined to a limit area. The are talking with simple phrases. They are aware of themselves as separate from their parents. They begin to experience freedom and start being defiant, as they establish their identity. The start being self focused.
As a parent, you get the opportunity to teach good and loving behavior for others. The ability to live and play well with others. Your two year old will explore the boundaries you have established.
I am now going to repeat the same paragraphs with a few minor changes for your teenager.
A 16 year old is taking the their next steps of independence. 16 year olds are driving and have obtained freedom. They are no longer confined to a limit area. The are talking with simple phrases. They are aware of themselves and want to separate from their parents. They begin to experience freedom and start being defiant, as they establish their adult identity. They start being self focused.
As a parent, you get the opportunity to teach good and loving behavior for others. The ability to live and play well with others. Your 16 year old will explore the boundaries you have established.
As a parent you get to focus on teaching kindness. To think of others. If you do not teach kindness, then the natural tendencies of selfishness will continue to grow. A selfish person is someone who has no concern about others.
The definition of cruelty is to have no concerns about others who are experience pain or suffering. A selfish person is a cruel person.
Most cruel people have issues. They do not fit in well with society. These issues can be caused by low self esteem, anger or stress. If a cruel person does not seek help, they will continue to live in their problem state and will get worse over time. More people will avoid them, which increases the low self esteem, anger and stress. This viscous spiral will continue until the person seeks help or is no longer living. The more cruel, the more damage to yourself.
The way to stop being cruel, is to start being kind to others. We all love the Christmas classic Scrooge. It is a classic case of cruelty cured by being infected with kindness. The best line in the movie is after numerous acts of kindness, Scrooge can’t stop laughing.
Start being kind to others. Not random acts of kindness, but intentional acts of kindness.