The Anatomy of Kindness and Meanness

ScientificMethod1Someone once told me that I am too nice and I should be meaner.  Hmmm ok.  I’m a pretty open-minded gal so I decided to investigate, perform a science experiment of sorts.  I can be a pretty emotional person, so I decided to take an objective/scientific approach.  First, the purpose or problem of my study is to determine which holds more value, being kind or being mean? My research is very personal in nature.  It is based solely on subjective and objective experiences, history, stories, observations, interactions involving both sides of the coin, kind and mean.  It has been proven to me, that when one adopts a meaner spirit (there is a continuum), they may not get hurt as often because perhaps there would be less opportunity for deeper connections.   Thereby, they would make themselves less vulnerable living a safer life.  Nobody would be in their business and maybe that means they wouldn’t have to do so much for others either.  Okay, I am beginning to see some payoffs; less hurt, check, less responsibility, check, less vulnerability, check!

Let’s compare that with researching the payoffs of being kind.  It has been proven to me, that when one adopts a kinder spirit (again, we are on a continuum here), they provide themselves with unlimited opportunities  to open their heart to others in ways never imagined.  Thus, experiencing deep connections, love, trust and happiness.  Sounds good to me.  It goes so far as to prove that a mere random act of kindness could literally change the course of someone’s afternoon, day, week, year or life!

Based on previous outcomes, my hypothesis is that the payoffs of being kind, far outweigh the payoffs of being mean.

I have had unlimited occasions to experience and witness experiments involving both kindness and meanness.  One just this very morning.  I went to yoga, a very friendly lady walked into the studio.  We greeted each other, she introduced herself and then asked me if she could get a couple of blocks for me.  We continued on with a very friendly conversation about weather, children, and of course, yoga.  Kindness at its best!  She was a stranger one moment and in the next, we had a connection!

The analytical phase, or results of my experiments show the following.  Results of meanness are; aversion, avoidance, shutting down, hate, anger, fear, sadness, depression, isolation, lack of purpose and on and on.  The results of kindness are love, peace, assistance, support, connection, trust, understanding, acceptance, providing, validating, acknowledging, did I mention love, embracing, presence, on and on and on.

My conclusion, is that my hypothesis has been proven to be correct!  That although there are payoffs to both, the benefits of being kind far outweigh the benefits of being mean.  Phew!  Thank goodness!  What helps me when I put my “kindness” out there and am met with a challenge, stems from my yoga practice and deep seated belief that we are all one.  We are all part of the same person, brothers and sisters.  You never know what someone is struggling with.  Would I be mean to myself?  I don’t think so.  There is a balance between being a “door mat” and getting taken advantage of, but that’s not the purpose of this study.

So, I say thank you for the advice to become meaner, but I think I’ll keep practicing the kindness course!  Let’s all perform more kindness experiments of our own!

Peace, love and kindness,
Shannon xo