The Gift of Kindness

    What would it take to make the world a little bit kinder? To make the world’s citizens fill their hearts with love and compassion?

    Many religious and ancient traditions feel that humankind’s highest goal is to live a virtuous life by cultivating compassion, patience, tranquility, generosity and overall kindness. Giving and giving gifts rank high as virtuous occupations.

    World Kindness Movement
    In 1996 the Japanese members of a Small Kindness Movement, led by Dr Wataru Mori a Japanese physician, began to bring together individuals from around the world who shared the vision of a more compassionate and peaceful world. Today, the World Kindness Movement (WKM) has grown to an international status. Its members are from diverse religious, political and commercial backgrounds.

    The purpose of WKM is to create goodwill in society locally, nationally and globally. Their technique it to promote an attitude and acts of kindness with the goal of creating greater understanding and cooperation amongst all people and all nations of the world. In doing so, WKM has become associated with various organizations that study and promote improved individual and collective human behavior. The current members of the movement include representatives from 27 countries.

    Kindness and Compassion – Health Benefits
    Kindness and compassion are stress busters. To maintain these virtues may mean making it a habit to always see things first and foremost from the other person’s point of view. Putting the needs of others before our own needs while simultaneously taking care of ourselves is a real skill. But this mental mindset could be a preventative tool for avoiding conflicts and disagreements as well as avoiding the kind of anger and hostility that is caused by situations where one or the other is not seeing things from a 360 degree angle i.e not seeing things simultaneously from all points of view.

    Maintaining a compassionate mindset is a choice we can make. Kindness and compassion are virtues we can cultivate and the choice is ours. The results may include letting go of judgement, growing appreciation for others, greater acceptance of individual differences, greater harmony, happiness and well-being, reduced resentment, annoyance and other mild stress symptoms. Win/win solutions have their basis in this multi directional viewpoint which in the end reflects maximum kindness and compassion.

    But perhaps even more important is that compassion and kindness are good for the heart. A sincere sense of giving always returns our gifts to us many fold, in ways we might never imagine. Some psychologists say that the act of giving is actually more rewarding than that of receiving. Researchers at the University of British Columbia found that giving leads to happiness in young children. This is why we may feel good about giving to charity or volunteering our time to people in need.

    Compassion is Not a Mood
    What if there was a natural technique to increase kindness, compassion and other symptoms of ideal individual and collective behavior without straining to make a mood of these positive emotions and behaviors? Techniques which promise reduced stress, improved physiological functioning, positive psychological changes and important sociological benefits are a good place to start. And what if it simply involved experiencing a deep state of rest twice a day, which with a few minutes of daily practice would
    allow us to experience a quality of rest deeper than that normally gained over a full night’s sleep?

    Many renowned researchers and authors, including NY Times bestsellers, continue to promote this concept. This includes eminent psychiatrist Norman Rosenthal, author of SuperMind and Transcendence. Research on meditation, specifically Transcendental Meditation over the last more than forty years has clearly shown dramatic changes for physiology, psychology and development of human potential. This includes increased Self-actualization, increased moral maturity, reduced anxiety and stress, increased emotional resilience as well as signs of increased mental alertness, mental clarity, faster reaction time, increased productivity, improved memory, increases in IQ at an age when IQ is known to no longer increase, improved cognitive skills – all of this along with the fact that T M is the number one program recommended by the American Heart Association for good heart health, prevention of hypertension and reduced risk of stroke. Sociological benefits of the T M program include improved social behavior, better relations in the work place and in prison settings as well as far reaching sociological effects such as reduced crime rate, accident rate, terrorism and war when these techniques are practiced in sufficient
    numbers or large groups.

    With this in mind, members of the natural products industry now have an opportunity to make the world a better place by adopting such techniques to improve individual and collective health.

    We can spontaneously promote greater kindness, compassion, understanding and harmony in the world. Simultaneously there may be side benefits. This holiday season – take a dive within, unfold full human potential, spontaneously cultivate kindness and compassion from within the members of your management teams, stores, manufacturers, suppliers and other employees. It’s time to take effective steps to improve individual and collective health and well-being to create a kinder, more compassionate and permanently peaceful world in the New Year.