I spent a day earlier in the week at a primary school where I was talking to young children about the importance of kindness. It was a school outside Glasgow, Scotland, on the invitation of my friend, John – aka Mr McLellan. The school has a dedicated ASD unit.
As an ex-pharmaceutical scientist, I enjoy reframing the term ‘side-effects’. We typically think of side-effects in the negative, as in the side-effects of drugs. But many of our positive behaviors also have side-effects.
Are we wired to be kind? Absolutely! Although I think some would disagree. It seems that the business model that’s operated for the past hundred years or so has been based on ‘survival of the fittest’, with the idea that humans are inherently selfish.
I’ve been thinking a bit recently about finding the balance between accepting things as they are and going with the flow and asserting your will or pushing for what you want. There’s a balance. There’s a time and a place for both...
I spent some time in New York City last weekend. I’m writing a series of pieces for Psychologies Magazine called ‘The Kindness Conversation’ where I basically have, well, conversations about kindness. In New York, I had my kindness conversation with Cynthia Germanotta, mother of Lady Gaga.
Empathy is the ability to understand and relate to other people and animals. Empathy is being able to see the world or a situation from someone else’s perspective and also appreciate how they might feel. Empathy can even be in walking in someone else’s shoes, so to speak.