A few years ago, psychology researcher Felix Warneken conducted some experiments into kindness or helpfulness with toddles about 18 months old.  The toddlers watched him perform a number of tasks correctly, and then with difficulty.  He dropped clothespins, knocked books onto the floor, etc.  When these “accidents” happened, each of the 24 toddlers tried to help.  They picked up the clothespin and handed it back.  
    Since these toddlers were too young to have been taught kindness by anyone, the conclusion we have to come to is that being kind and helpful is part of our nature.  Yet many older kids and adults are not kind at all.  This study indicates that this lack of kindness has to be a learned behavior.  Learned when others don’t show appreciation for our acts of kindness or when others don’t show kindness toward us.  But refusing to be kind and helpful is against our nature, so when we act like that, we are acting against our true nature and that causes harmful stress.  So if you have forgotten how to be kind and helpful, today is the time to learn again.


2 thoughts on “Kindness Comes Naturally

  1. Reverend Harold Boulette says:

    Yes, it’s sad and disturbing when people behave this way in public and dont think about the harm they do to themselves and others.  And you can guess if he’s like that in a public place, he is probably a lot worse at home.

  2. rosie says:

    This reminded me of a situation I witnessed last night. My husband and I were driving from NH to Maine. We needed to eat but wanted to do something simple and quick because I have a broken foot. We never eat at the fast food places but decided we would make the exception since we were there for the restrooms anyway. It was busy and they were clearly short staffed. The man at the counter was working hard to care for everyone. In front of us were a man and his teenage son. The man walked off and the son took a while to decide what he wanted. The father walked back over and freaked out because their order wasn’t ready. It had not been long, he was inappropriately enraged. And it was the son that took forever to order, not the workers fault anyway. It was obvious they were a family on vacation and the man loses his temper over waiting an extra minute for a burger at a fast food joint! His face was beet red, screaming profanities at this innocent man working for minimum wage. He was downright verbally abusing this worker and honestly for no reason. All I could think about was what a horrible role model this man was being to his son! I even spoke up and said that to him. He was teaching his son by his actions to treat people with disrespect and to be rude and yell at people and call people names when he doesn’t get his way. This man was the typical school yard bully training his son to be one too, if he isn’t already! I was truly embarrassed for him. He demanded his money back and they stomped off with no food! Now what did that accomplish? Now instead of waiting an extra 2 minutes for their food they have to now go somewhere else and start over. They hurt their own cause, they hurt the spirit of the man working and he taught his son to be mean. I even felt the negativity from the dispute and I’m sure everyone else did too. I and a few other onlookers offered some kind words to the man working there but you could see how wounded he was from the uncalled for attack. But even after we left I kept thinking about how he was teaching his son to behave. If he acted that badly in public just imagine what it’s like in their home. I said a prayer for the boy and envisioned him surrounded by light and asked that he be able to see past his fathers problems and find a life of light with a peaceful heart and not the angry one his father has.

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