Some of Our Current Activities
Starting a Kindness Epidemic >
Kindness is very infectious and easy to spread very fast. Our members are doing exactly that. They do frequent small acts of kindness in the course of their daily lives. Many of the beneficiaries get infected and continue to spread kindness to others.
Kindness has entered St.Mary's Convent High School, at Mulund, a suburb of Mumbai.
It has already changed the lives of many students and even their families. The children are more cooperative and helpful at home and outside. Some of the impressed parents have even decided to give it a try themselves, and are spreading kind acts widely in their own friends' circles and at work. Recently St.Mary's students participated in the "Coin-spiracy Project" of the Canadian Kind Acts Network and surpassed many other schools around the globe in the number of kind acts done. A UNI Coin was given to one student, and she had to do three acts of kindness: one to self, one for the environment and finally one to someone else. With the last act the UNI was passed on to the receiver of the kind act, and she repeated the process with the three types of kind acts. The ripple of kindness spread from one girl to another. In the 45 days available to them before their school closed for exams the Std.X girls achieved over 135 passes of the UNI coin!
Why are we kind?
It is in our genes. Our fitness for survival increased when we learnt to cooperate (work for others as well as selves). Our entire civilization and society work on mutual cooperation, they could collapse if this diminishes below a limit.
Is everyone kind?
Yes, it will be difficult to find someone who never does anything good for others. This is not to deny that sometimes we do exhibit inconsiderate or even cruel behaviour.. Almost all of us are sometimes kind and sometimes inconsiderate. There are no pure blacks or pure whites in the matter of kindness, we all are shades of gray. We may judge someone as kind or otherwise because we have had no opportunity to see the other side of that personality.
Can we increase kindness in society?
Most certainly, if we begin with ourselves! Our behaviour is always influenced by habits. We think and behave as we are habituated to. Self-interest is built into our genes to ensure survival, ( remember Darwin? ), it is always present in our sub-conscious. Through experience, we have also learnt that enlightened self-interest needs us to cooperate with others to ensure collective survival and prosperity. We can change our habit of acting always only in narrow self-interest, by doing frequent and deliberate small acts of kindness for those around us - even strangers. This teaches us to be constantly aware of others, and helps balance our vital self-interest with the common interest of our community or society.
How will increasing kindness help?
An act of kindness is likely to be repeated by the receiver soon in some form, and there is generally a ripple effect that follows. When kindness in a community increases, cooperation increases and conflict decreases. Mutual trust increases, and "social capital" is created. The community can work more purposefully for common good so that everyone will be better off. One can easily understand and appreciate this point if one imagines being stranded on a lonely island with no other human being. A person in this predicament will miss all the cooperation and kindness from others which perhaps she used to take for granted. She may not survive alone for long.
Vasant S. Kalbag