Why should you be nice? Our guest explores how small, daily acts of kindness can produce meaningful life changes.
When you’re kind to someone, the positive impact doesn’t stop with them. In fact, the effect of your kind action can ricochet back to you by improving your physical health and outlook on life. This week’s episode is all about how kindness has the power to strengthen our sense of self within a larger community. Our guest Aaron Harvey is an activist and UC Berkeley alumni who performed five random acts of kindness in one day. He found that practicing kindness allowed him to develop deeper relationships with those around him and shifted the way he views his role in society. Later, we hear from Oliver Scott Curry, the Research Director at Kindlab, to learn about why humans are evolutionarily designed to be kind and how practicing kindness can positively affect our physical and mental state of being.
How to Do This Practice:
Choose a day of the week to perform 5 random acts of kindness throughout that day.
These acts don’t have to be big or small or even for the same person. Just aim to perform a variety of acts of kindness. This could include helping a friend with a chore or providing a meal to a person in need.
After each act, write down what you did in at least one or two sentences and reflect on how it made you feel.
Learn more about this practice at Greater Good In Action:
Aaron Harvey is a UC Berkeley Underground Scholar alumnus and activist. After facing the possibility of life in prison, Aaron successfully proved his innocence due to a lack of evidence.
Learn more about Berkeley Underground Scholars: https://undergroundscholars.berkeley.edu/
Oliver Scott Curry is the Research Director for Kindlab at kindness.org. He uses scientific research to better understand topics like kindness, human morality and cooperation.
Learn more about Oliver and his work: https://www.oliverscottcurry.com/
Learn more about Kindlab: https://kindness.org/kindlab
Follow Oliver on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Oliver_S_Curry
Follow Oliver on Google Scholar: https://tinyurl.com/yc29nn62
Resources from The Greater Good Science Center:
Random Acts of Kindness: https://tinyurl.com/jxafbdm4
How to Start a Kindness Revolution: https://tinyurl.com/3fr68t6v
Three Strategies for Bringing More Kindness into Your Life: https://tinyurl.com/22cx7w9f
How Kindness Fits Into a Happy Life: https://tinyurl.com/h8mspz37
How to Be a Kindness Role Model for Your Kids: https://tinyurl.com/3cjkp785
Where Does Kindness Come From? https://tinyurl.com/hkv94anp
Is There an Altruism Gene? https://tinyurl.com/5n8r7eh5
More Resources on Kindness
MasterClass - How to Be Kind to Yourself: 5 Ways to Practice Kindness: https://tinyurl.com/ycx7uysu
The New York Times - The Unexpected Power of Random Acts of Kindness: https://tinyurl.com/ycxxd7af
TED Talk - Mark Kelly: How one act of kindness a day can change your life: https://tinyurl.com/u2n3t3s
Have you ever tried practicing random acts of kindness? Ever been the recipient of one? Email us at [email protected]
or use the hashtag #happinesspod.
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