"Studis" English

Kindness = Happiness?

Viktoriia SLYVKA

Have you ever thought of kindness as a tool for being happy? I had not until last semester when I took a course in ‘Positive Psychology’ in our lovely Vytautas Magnus University. Actually, this course changed me somehow. The main idea of it was to understand the phenomenon of a happy life and try fulfilling one’s personal life with this pleasant feeling. But what was more important, we had to do at least one good act during this course, no matter what that was. This self-teaching of kindness sharing lasted for three months.

No doubt, I can say that the main dream of each person in the world is to be happy. Of course, this word has a variety of meanings for different people (starting from the feeling of being loved and needed and finishing with satisfying conditions of life), but the fact remains this: we want to be happy. Yet, let’s think more deeply. Our happiness reaches the highest point when somebody is kind to us: for example, when we get a simple compliment, or when somebody helps us selflessly. Such simple kindness causes happiness in our hearts, and sincere emotions expressed right after make our little environment kinder too. It is extremely simple!

But, unfortunately, the nature of humans works in an egotistic way: we become used to particular circumstances, especially when they are pleasant, and, accordingly, we accumulate kindness and do not want to share it with other people. You can ask, why? I think this can be easily explained: our actions have always been focused on the result. For example, we go to work to earn money and have a comfortable life; we write a book for someone to read it and share his/her impressions; we buy new clothes to feel good and for other people to appreciate our style. So, as you see, we have always had a reason for our actions, which is natural and logical. But kindness works differently: it seems that we do a good deed, but we get nothing from it back; at least, we do not notice it immediately. And this is the fact I came up with during my project.

Once, I met with my lithuanian friend in a bakery, and I noticed an old man next to us who was slowly drinking his coffee and observing what was going around. He seemed so sad to me that I offered my friend to go and say a few good words to that grandpa. But the reaction of my friend made me surprised: “What for?” Many people have this question hidden in their minds before doing any good deed, and this is the reason for inaction in most cases. My answer was immediate: “Just!” And I would like to encourage you, guys, to say this word more often because a few good words can change the day or sometimes life of an unknown for you person. As we discovered later, that man was waiting for his friend, and he was not sad, but conceived. However, thanks to this funny situation, I was smiling the rest of the day and that man, I guess, too.

So, finally, we got to the point which is the main reason why I started writing this text. What do we get back when we are kind? Of course, it is not money or any gifts; it is not a material thing which modern society is so dependent on. This is much more important thing because it motivates to live. This is happiness! Happiness caused by self-harmony and pleasure which appear after we have done something good! If we remind people of such feelings as gratitude and love, feelings of being needed and important, and that we get them back after doing a good deed, we will remind people of how to be kind. Try to feel the power of kindness which warms up and gives the strength to live, and be an example for others! This is how we can create a society full of kindness.