[Taken directly from Parenting Magazine, June 2010]
Kindness is Catching!
Need an incentive to play nice on days when you’re feeling anything but?
New research finds that when you’re generous to strangers, your act of kindness influences them to follow suit with people they interact with. According to the recent study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, one good deed “stays alive” for up to three degrees of separation. So if you emergency babysit for a friend, she’ll be sweeter to her husband, and he’ll be kinder to his coworkers! Of course, the flip side is true, too: Being uncooperative sways others to behave badly. ”Most people don’t realize just how influential they are.” says James Fowler, Ph.D., the lead researcher of the study and an associate professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego. ”As a result of this research, I personally feel more responsibility to practice random acts of kindness.” Follow his lead and start a cascade of compassion!