But here's a question for you: Is most of humankind actually kind?
We know, it can be a tricky question. It seems simple, but the answer can get complicated — fast.
Researchers were also curious about this kindness thing, so they conducted some interesting studies.They found that when people thought about their own social circles, they said those people seemed pretty kind. But grow that circle to society in general, and the answer changes quickly.
Psychologists learned that when it comes to the big picture, people are more likely to view society in general as not-so-nice after all.
How can we change that cynicism?
Well, we can start by being curious. By getting out there. Asking questions. Chatting with strangers. Exploring. Challenging comfort zones. Carpe-ing the diem.
Thanks to increased connectivity, we have access to more people, ideas, and places than ever before. Finding the kindness in humankind just takes that one first step beyond our own walls.Exploring our world brings out our empathy, too. Take it from Mark Twain.
He once said traveling "is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." We'd like to think he was telling us that traveling brings out the best in all of us. It helps us understand each other.
Not to mention that discovering the world brings about new ideas, different perspectives, and a refreshing sense of self (and it's terrific for your health). Exploring the world might help you to understand other perspectives.
Sometimes it can be tough to see the good in our world when a 24-hour news cycle is full of bad news. But in many vital ways, the world is actually becoming a much better place to live.
Who knows? Maybe you just need a trip to [insert bucket list destination here] to see it all from a different window than your own.
And another bonus: Finding the kindness in others might be contagious.
Want to start a revolution? We know that acts of kindness can inspire other acts of kindness.
By taking one step out into the world, you could be inspiring empathy in people you don't even know.
Exploring your world can start now. Just as long journeys begin with one step, goodness can be found in the
next state (or even street) over — no new time zone required. After
all, it's all about taking baby steps.
You just need to make the first move, like this adorable tot.