Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Towards A New Global Culture

I believe we should educate and train the coming generation to be kind.

Sounds nice and naive, simplistic, but it's not. We have never before known scientifically that we can in fact deliberately and consciously nurture kindness and compassion in people through simple ongoing practices.

Now we know. And we know that kindness is a good thing, not only for those who receive it, but for those who act in a kindly manner.

Kindness is giving practical help out of a desire to do so, not for selfish reasons.

So we know it works at a personal level. It also works at a national level. It aids mental health issues, which not only help those suffering but also boosts the economy in many ways. It reduces absenteeism. It increases productivity. And it reduces the burden on the NHS.

The other side of this suggestion is that we should, politely, gently but clearly ask that any suffering, cruelty or hurt be stopped. Plain and simple. If it hurts or causes harm we should stop doing it.

This can be construed as both a principle or philosophy on the one hand, and a direct timely response to an ongoing incident in which hurt or cruelty is being imposed on someone or something. Every time we see or hear about cruelty, harm, hurt or imposed suffering we should simply ask that it stop.

We do of course have declarations and statements on human rights which already cover many of these wishes. However fine formal declarations are all well and good but they don't tend to sink into the heart of people unfortunately. People require something simpler, closer to home, closer to how they actually feel moment by moment. Kindness and asking for suffering to stop exactly fit what people experience and feel.