Why We Need a Kindness Revolution More Than Ever Before
What if kindness was cool? What if compassion was popular, and what if consoling a stranger was expected, and not the exception?
What if we lived in a world where every time someone was sad or lonely, depressed or despondent, they knew that help was hiding in the heart of everyone around them? What if people were obsessed with giving selflessly instead of taking selfies?
What kind of world would that be, and how do we get there?
I’m not sure, but I want to find out.
I am trying to make kindness cool, and I’m trying to build a community that connects with one another, a community that proves the world is filled with good people doing good things and that you can do them too. I’m trying to help people feel less alone.
Because the world breaks my heart every day.
We live in world where vulnerability is rare, a world where compassion is endangered and basic human connection is nearly extinct, a world where kindness has become a revolutionary act, and that’s tragic, but we should never waste a crisis.
Have you ever felt lonely?
Have you ever been scared?
Have you ever felt like giving up?
We all have. We’ve all been there before, and we’ll be there again, and when we’re there we need help. The biggest truth and tragedy in life is that we are all uniquely the same. We’ve all needed a helping hand or a hug or a kind word.
So what are you going to do about it?
Will you help a stranger?
Will you be brave?
Will you be kind?
I recently gave a TEDx talk and I answered some of these questions, but my talk is not just me talking. It’s my heart and soul and passion presented on a platter and served up raw, fiery, and fierce.
It’s who I am and what I bleed, everything I stand for and strive towards, a rallying cry, a rebel yell, a manifesto and a creed, a kicking, screaming plea to please help change the things I see. I believe that we must improve the world, I believe that we will do it together, and I believe that kindness has a pivotal role to play in that process.
Life is hard and it’s scary and it’s overwhelming, and I feel it every day. We all do. But if we can face that fear together, something beautiful will happen: Things will change, life will improve, and the world will slowly get better.
So let’s do that.
This article originally appeared online at Rebelle Society.
Interview with Jeremy Goldberg
Do you think your scientific background helps you with your goal of achieving a kindness revolution?
Absolutely. I spent five years exploring human behavior, including how and why our beliefs affect our actions. A formal understanding of how we operate is useful when trying to create new ways of thinking, being, and living. The scientific process is also grounded in questioning existing paradigms and problems, so this is also helpful when seeking to change things. Why do we do the things we do? What actions can we take today to help improve ourselves and the world around us? Once we understand the foundation of who we are and why things work this way, we can work together to brainstorm new ideas and put these into action.
How will you know you’ve achieved the change you want to see in the world?
If we want to change the world, we have to change ourselves. If we want the world to be better, we have to be better, all of us, individually, every day. So, this is my mission – to walk the talk, to improve 1% every single day, to be braver and kinder and more authentic and accepting. These are my priorities. These are the ways I know I’m making a difference. Because the world needs more people willing to admit their imperfections, to own their truths, to share and show that it’s okay be on our way to where we want to go.
We are all perfectly imperfect, incomplete yet whole, and we sometimes judge ourselves so harshly. Additionally, I believe that we find what we seek. So, if I look for reasons for the world to be kinder, more compassionate, and more connected, then that’s the world I’ll see. Overall, it’s two separate yet connected actions: Inspiring the change and noticing it.
Where do you think the apathy in our society comes from?
I think it comes from forgetting that we are 99.9% the same as every single person we see. I think apathy comes from feeling overwhelmed and powerless. I think it comes from a feeling of loneliness and disconnectedness. We forget that we are social creatures who are inherently good at heart. We forget that we are all more alike than we are different. And so we bury our hurts in our hearts, we don’t speak our mind, and we neglect to value our true selves and desires. Largely, I think apathy is just a socially approved and accepted way to deal with the hurt and disappointment caused by our culture, a culture that creates and reinforces competition, mistrust, and shame in all of us.
What is your favourite outlet for expressing your thoughts?
I write. I’m a words guy. I believe in mantras and messages. I believe that a single sentence can change a life. I believe that a paragraph can shape an argument and a page of prose could start a revolution. I’m active on social media and am always sharing my heart with the world, either via written articles online, speaking around the world, or at events and retreats.
Who or what inspires you most?
I’m inspired by everything. I like to say I’m on a perpetual quest for silver linings. There is so much beauty and encouragement all around us, in the sky and the seas, in strangers eyes, in memories and moments. I’m inspired by authentic connection and truth telling. I love love, and what it does to people. I adore personal stories of overcoming the odds, of not giving up, of choosing to believe and keep going.
Do you have a favourite experience from your speaking career?
I’ve had a few people tell me, with tears in their eyes, that they connected with my story in a real and profound way. They thanked me for sharing a piece of myself because it reminded them of who they truly are and want to be. Any time I can have real, authentic moments with the audience, that’s a favorite experience.