It’s Cool to Be Kind

Kindness and gratitude are scientifically proven to change one’s disposition. It’s not simply about your mood or elevating how you feel; it goes much, much deeper than that.

Kindness is a way of living, being and doing; it is a living system that unites, binds, feeds, evolves and – almost as if a positive contagion if ever there were an oxymoron as this – it spreads. Acts of kindness are proven to increase our “happy hormone” (oxytocin), to reduce the effects of stress (those who frequently deliver acts of kindness have 23% less cortisol – a stress hormone – and age slower than the average person), and activate the “feel good” centres of our brains.

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible,” as the Dalai Lama once said. Wise words, without a doubt. And who are we to argue with science? Or history, for that matter…

The science of kindness is rooted in our history, with Darwin himself alluding to the reality that kindness is not only hard-wired in our brains, but is a genuine necessity for survival – willingness to support, openness to cooperation and building any sense of community. They all have kindness at the heart of it all.

The irony of it all is that we oftentimes forget the simple act of extending kindness to others, whether in times of stress, situations of urgency, or even simply out of frustration.

But how much better would adult life be if we just remembered the lessons of kindness we learned in infancy? “If you have nothing kind to say, don’t say anything at all” or “Play nice with others” all make it abundantly clear, and kids have a way of forming those kind behaviours so well. Let’s learn from kids, I say because there’s enough going on in the permacrisis of the world that we could all do with a bit more kindness out there, sharing it as well as receiving it.

Learn To Play helps shape children into even more incredible people today, for tomorrow. In the daily activities in class or in playgroup, kindness is the only order of the day, and it’s a refreshing reminder that to be kind is not only cool, but contagious; not only right, but rewarding; and not only good, but effective.

Kindness rules any proverbial roost and as a generation of future leaders and visionaries demonstrate for us on the playground, it’s important to Be Nice and Be Kind.

-by Taazima Kala-Essack

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