Jamil Zaki, director of the Stanford University Social Neuroscience Lab, is studying positive conformity and the spirit underlying it. This study is in sync with the message I distinctly heard just after my husband died next to me in a tragic car accident:
“Next, the two strong arms of an EMT were reaching in through my broken window, grabbing me by the shoulders, and beginning to pull me out. It was then that I heard a third and final message that confirmed the other two messages for me beyond any doubt. This one I just knew was the voice of God, our true source, saying to me:
“Be loving and kind to everyone.”
“I had just lost the love of my life. I was battered, cold and bleeding profusely, but these words managed to fill me with love, compassion and a profound knowing. I knew I was being given a directive from heaven itself.”
As a result of that third message I received, “Be loving and kind to everyone,” I now strive to be more present to how my daily choices affect others as well as myself. Living my life consciously has made me a better person to be around, not only for the benefit of others but for my own benefit as well. I’ve learned that in the same way nuclear radiation resulting from the tsunami in Japan spread and affected the world, kindness passed forward to many others reaches a magic tipping point that results in less violence, which energizes and enables people to live in a space of joy instead of a space of lack and disappointment.
“The battle between dark and light conformity likely depends on which cultural norms people witness most often. Someone who is surrounded by grandstanding and antagonism will tend towards hostile and exclusionary attitudes herself. Someone who instead learns that her peers prize empathy will put more work to empathize herself, even with people who are different from her. By emphasizing empathy-positive norms, we may be able to leverage the power of social influence to combat apathy and conflict in new ways. And right now, when it comes to mending ideological divides and cultivating kindness, we need every strategy we can find.“ – Jamil Zaki
I’ve seen firsthand how living love and kindness as a behavior has made an indelible, lasting impression upon lives I’ve touched. It’s also made an indelible, lasting impression upon me. As we develop awareness and a willingness to impact others positively, we can consciously choose to be loving and kind. The recipient of love and kindness derives a sense of worthiness and validation as he or she receives the blessing we have chosen to give. Likewise the one who has given love and kindness derives a sense of joy and satisfaction for having nourished and empowered another’s soul.
In order to give love and kindness, one must first have love within himself or herself. The choice to give love generously serves to raise the vibration of the giver as well as the receiver, allowing for both to share and experience the highest frequency that exists, which is love. When an individual resonates with love, baser emotions and negativity cannot easily co-exist within that being; therefore love elevates us and purifies us as we are purged of our less-desirable traits. To exercise giving love is to heal oneself as well as others.
The benefit is mutual. Have you been loving and kind today? And has someone been loving and kind to you?
Pass it forward!