Cultivating Kindness in the Next Generation

Cultivating kindness in the next generation should be done as everybody needs a shot of good news everyday.

As for me, my dosage of inspiration usually comes from stories involving children who do fantastic, exceptionally kind things for other people, or other people who do fantastic, exceptionally kind things for children.

In this blog, it’s no secret that I am partial to featuring the little people of the next generation who’ve shown some really impressive abilities, such as a great deal of empathy.

Some children first understand the need to help others because of their own plight.

For instance, a deaf boy started his own fundraising initiative to provide hearing aids for his fellow deaf children.

Others are inspired by their loved ones, like the high schooler who invented an AI system to diagnose her grandfather’s eye disease.

It goes to show that at an early age, children already have a deep enough understanding of love and already think of the welfare of those around them.

But it doesn’t stop there either.

Some children can even empathize with those who live way beyond their backyards and come from backgrounds way different from theirs. 

At times of disasters, for instance, children show that they feel so much for people that are suffering, as exemplified by an 8-year-old who collected over a thousand toys that he eventually gave away to Puerto Rican kids after the terrible hurricane.

Unfortunately, some adults aren’t even able to have this kind of empathy, but some kids definitely do.

Meanwhile, some preschoolers just want to have fun and eventually end up helping others out, like this prodigious 5-year-old who sells her own astounding galaxy paintings and donates the proceeds to a charity.

But what do these stories of the next generation mean for us who come before them?

Should we feel bad and envious that they are already doing so much more? Should our generation take credit for raising such beautiful children?

No, though perhaps possible, none of those seems right.

Some groups of people have already figured out what to do and what their role is.

Educational institutions in New York have been trying to address the problem of inequality by providing free lunches to kids of lower status, while libraries in Los Angeles have waived book rental fees for readers under the age of 21.

A Massachusetts startup is making life better for kids with autism by providing smart glasses that can help them track emotion and improve their social skills.

Disney itself committed 100 million dollars to children’s hospitals.

That’s right. What we need to do for the next generation is show them that they can become the best versions of themselves, because this world is going to be kind to them.

And we have to make sure that it happens.

We absolutely have to make this world a better place for the people who will succeed us, so that they may continue on the good work.

Not all of us can donate millions of dollars or invent something incredibly beneficial.

But there are things we can do, like volunteer our time and skills to organizations dedicated to the welfare of children, mentor kids in our community who show interest in the fields we know about, support and participate in school and after-school programs, and many others.

Sometimes, even showing compassion to tiny members of the family like our own children or nephews and nieces might already be enough.

In the end, it’s all about the culture of kindness that we cultivate for them, so that when the time comes for them to take charge of the world, they can take things further and make it an even better place.

We have to inculcate kindness in them, so that they can pay it forward and be even kinder to others.

Cultivating Kindness With BeepBeep Nation

No doubt, cultivating kindness in the next generation means that we ourselves have to be kind to each other. As they say, lead by example.

One such app with the same mission is BeepBeep Nation. It aims to make the world a better place by connecting people who need help and others who can offer it.

Providing a plethora of opportunities to give back and help out, it enables people to exercise compassion the way they want to.

Ultimately, BeepBeep Nation encourages people to share their lives with one another and believe in a future built on kindness.

This is exactly the kind of mindset that our children should learn as they are growing up.

It’s never too early for children to find the heart to help out, and it’s never too late for us to encourage them to do so.

An Attitude Of Gratitude Is Good For You

When I was a kid, my parents instilled an attitude of gratitude in me.

They taught me what they called “magic words.”

This includes saying please, I’m sorry, and most importantly, thank you.

Vague memories of preschool also have a similar lesson; I remember my playmates and I practicing that habit as encouraged by our awesome teacher Mrs. Silverstone.

When Nick lets you borrow his toy truck, say thank you. When Amy shares her fruit bites, say thank you. When Karl and Jessica make you join in their game involving color blocks, say thank you.

I myself don’t have a kid yet, but I’m pretty sure I’ll definitely teach my son or daughter the same thing.

Especially after reading stuff here and there proving that something like it really exists. The science of gratitude.

Attitude of gratitude - be thankful

In a research study involving around 300 adults who sought psychological counselling services at a university, it has been found that an attitude of gratitude do not only help well-adjusted individuals, but also those who had mental health concerns.

The participants — most of whom reported clinically low levels of mental health, and struggled with depression and anxiety — were divided into three groups.

Although all three groups received counselling services, Group 1 was additionally asked to write one letter of gratitude every week.

Group 2 was asked to write about their deepest negative thoughts and feelings.

Group 3 didn’t do any writing.

Create an attitude of gratitude by writing a gratitude journal.

Those who wrote gratitude letters reported significantly better mental health four weeks and 12 weeks after the writing exercise ended.

The researchers then decided to delve into the more physical science of gratitude and found out that their gratitude exercise had actual lasting effects on the brain.

Using an fMRI scanner to analyze how the participants’ brains were processing information, the researchers asked Group 1 (gratitude letter writers) and Group 3 (people who didn’t write) to do “pay-it-forward” tasks.

They were to be given money by a benefactor, and they can decide how much of it they were going to give back to a cause of their choice.

The researchers found out that across participants, the brain activity of people who felt grateful and the brain activity of people who felt mostly guilty and obligated to do the task were very distinct.

When grateful people donated more, their medial prefrontal cortex became more sensitive. This is a part of the brain associated with learning and decision-making.

Interestingly, this higher sensitivity was also more identified in the group who were gratitude letter writers in the previous experiment.

Attitude of gratitude - show your appreciation

Other studies involving the science of gratitude also yielded fascinating results.

It has been linked to better quality of sleep, as well as decreased blood pressure.

And in seeming accordance with the neurological findings of a study, gratitude has been linked to a boost in willpower and impulse control, helping people make better decisions like avoiding overeating, exercising more and attending regular checkups.

Attitude of gratitude - thank somebody for making a difference in your life.

So don’t be afraid to need help. What’s important is to remember to feel grateful and to express it to the people who are there for you.

If you want to read more about the science of gratitude, here’s a link to various research projects.

If you want to participate in a cause that encourages people to get help and feel grateful, check out the BeepBeep Nation App. It provides a platform for people to request for the help they need (called requestors) and for other people to respond (called helpers).

Once the task is done, requestors may give a gratitude tip to their helpers. However, it’s not mandatory, because as we have seen scientifically, gratitude is so much more real if it’s willingly felt and reciprocated.

Of course, requestors themselves may also want to be helpers to somebody else if they want to pay it forward. 

BeepBeep Nation instills an attitude of gratitude in its users, which will definitely make the world a better place.

If you would like to be a BeepBeep Nation supporter, click here now.