|Sent on:||Thursday, September 3, 2009 4:48 AM|
We’re going to gather on Independence Plaza (map) and hug each other, then stand around holding up signs that read, “FREE HUGS” and see what happens. What’s metaphysical about that?
Well, there’s the “exchange of energy” and the “co-creation of positive energy.” Let me also explain what happens when you hug a total stranger from a mundane scientific standpoint:
According to Aristotle, Kindness is help given to another without obligation to help, not for the giver’s benefit but for the benefit of the one helped, without any expectation of any return whatsoever from the one helped. Not even a “thank you”. Kindness evolved in humans for very pragmatic reasons.
When one is Kind to another, the survival chances of the one helped are improved. To the extent that all members of a species are Kind to one another, the survival rate of the species is improved. Like all behaviors that enhance species survival, Kindness is reinforced by a biological feedback mechanism. That’s how evolution works.
When you perform an act of Kindness, your body releases chemicals that stimulate your brain cells in ways that your mind decides “feels good”. Desire to feel good encourages you to repeat Kind behavior. It’s that simple. Every honest, true thing is simple. (But every simple thing is not necessarily honest or true.) So effective is Kindness as a survival enhancer that it is universally desired in a mate, above all other traits.
In a modern survey of 16,000 people spread over 34 different cultures, the Number One trait desired in a mate was Kindness! Intelligence came in second. Wealth finished fourth. If you want to be Loved, you’d better be Kind. Can you imagine yourself Loving an unkind person? Compassion, sure, but never Love.
I’m as serious as a pregnancy test about this. Come practice Kindness with us. Get your fix of Kindness chemicals. Help someone feel good. Increase your chances of surviving, being Loved, and finding true happiness.
“If you want happiness, help someone,” said The Buddha. Simple. Honest. True. Ann Rice went on about Kindness at greater length in “Servant of the Bones” but her words are also simple, and more metaphysical:
“Always, if you have a choice, be kind. Remember the poor, the hungry, and the miserable. Always remember the suffering, and those who need. The greatest creative power you have on Earth, whether you are an angel, a spirit, or a man or a woman or a child is to help others… the poor, the hungry, the oppressed. To ease pain and give joy are your finest powers. Kindness is a human miracle, so to speak. It’s unique to us humans, and our more developed angels or spirits, to be kind.”
This one is so old it’s found on the commonest Ancient Greek amphorae (wine jugs):
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
I swear, I have nothing to do with the quotations this OutlookQuote software adds to the end of my emails! The thing is haunted, pleasantly.
Auto-Quote: All you have shall some day be given; Therefore give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors'. ~ Kahlil Gibran
David Hakala, Enabler
"Your work is to discover your world and then
with all your heart give yourself to it."
~ The Buddha.
Mine is to help you.