Jess & Ben express a desire to take the podcast to an inter-species audience, and imagine some mythical creatures both wonderful and horrific. They also discuss the magic and importance of kindness in relation to all our creative pursuits and relationships....read more
Kindness is a subject near and dear to our MossyBrain hearts. We believe it is an underrated, yet dynamic force in this world.
Receiving kindness can turn your day around, restoring your faith in the goodness of people. It can remind you that you’re not alone, and that you are important.
It can also be humbling to realize that we all need to receive from others sometimes. If we’re lucky, we become part of a beautiful cycle of giving and receiving kindness.
Showing kindness helps you open your eyes to the world around you and focus on something other than yourself.
It allows you to walk a little taller, convinced that your actions matter and you can positively impact the world around you.
We believe in the power of kindness, whether we are the givers or the receivers.
Kindness Makes Creativity Even Better
Ricky Gervais created a mockumentary-style show called Derek that came out in 2013. Derek (played by Gervais) is a caregiver in a British nursing home with an intellectual disability and an immense heart. It is a dramedy that, if you give it a chance, will having you crying and laughing and loving the whole cast. There is one scene in which Derek tells the camera, “Kindness is Magic,” and when we heard it, Ben and I latched on to that phrase for its powerful simplicity and truth.
In this MossyBrain community, we want to encourage kindness as we interact with each other. Others’ creations may not be your cup of tea; no problem! You don’t have to explain to them what you don’t like about it. You can move on with your life, and genuinely appreciate the fact that they were brave enough to share. Here’s the beauty of creating: there are so many people out there, all with different tastes and sensibilities. The nature of creativity means there is no one standard to which we must all adhere. A creation that I may not like can be profound and moving to another person. We want to facilitate an atmosphere of appreciation, encouragement, and respect.
Whatever you create, it will not be for everyone. To create is to be vulnerable. If you’ve ever made anything you know that sharing it with others can be terrifying. Creativity is not for the faint of heart; it takes courage.
Haters Gonna Hate…
In this age of the internet, we have instantaneous access to all the information we could want, which also comes with an endless supply of trolls, opinions, and criticism. The internet encourages excessive amounts of armchair critics, who aren’t actually doing anything, but don’t like what they see others doing.
Now don’t get us wrong; criticism isn’t all bad. Constructive criticism is important and healthy, if it comes from a trusted source. But much of what we see online does not fall into this category, and we want to discourage widespread and hasty criticism. Most people don’t think of the real person on the other side of their comment.
People come up with many excuses for unkindness. They don’t want to be taken advantage of, they don’t want to be fake, they’re just “keeping it real.” You can be honest and true in a way that considers others’ feelings. Be wise, be authentic, but also – be kind. You don’t have to be real at the expense of being kind. It is possible to be all three, simultaneously.
The Golden Rule
The Golden Rule is a cliche’ but there is something to putting yourself in another’s shoes and treating them as you would want to be treated. I understand how hard this can be, especially for those who did not experience many examples of kindness growing up but, this is your one life, and you get to decide how you live now. Will you spread hardness and self-preservation, or kindness and positivity?
We understand it’s not always easy to show kindness – especially if you were treated less than kindly. I try to think of it this way: because I believe in goodness and how transformative it can be, I want to be kind. It’s not just about how it affects others, it’s for myself- it’s who I want to be. When I am treated poorly and I respond in kind, I am giving that person a power over myself by acting in a way I don’t want. I want to remain true, regardless of others’ behavior.
Yes, this is easier said than done. It takes intentionality, patience, and even practice. It can be really hard to live this way. But guess what? We can do hard things. If we all understood that kindness is not weakness, the world would be a better place.
The Magic at Work
Not only does kindness improve the world around you, it leads to more peace, health, and contentment within. There are numerous benefits to our bodies and minds.
Kindness stimulates the production of serotonin, like medical antidepressants do. This feel-good chemical heals your wounds, calms you down, and contributes to feelings of well-being and happiness.
According to research from Emory University, there is a phenomenon called the “helper’s high,” which means that when you show kindness to another person, your brain’s pleasure and reward centers light up, as if you were the recipient of kindness instead of the giver.
Even just witnessing kindness produces oxytocin which can help lower blood pressure, improve heart health, and increase self-esteem and optimism. When you show kindness, you can positively affect those who witness it, and oftentimes, they will go on to show kindness as well.
Kindness is contagious; it can expand like seeds dispersed by the wind, unseen and widespread. Much of the time, we have no idea how our kindness has impacted the world around us. All we know are the little seeds that have germinated within us, and what goodness has sprouted as a result.
Jessica Beresh is a blogger and co-founder of MossyBrain. Along with her husband Ben, their 4 kids and their sweet puppy Charlie she resides in Broken Arrow OK. She is a 9 on the Enneagram, greatly enjoys drinking Chai (hot or iced) and loves rainy days.
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