- compelled /kuhm-PELD/
- stifle /STAHY-fuhl/
- candidly /KAN-did-lee/
- gesture /JES-cher/
- groundless /GROUND-lis/
[adjective] – having to do something because you are forced to or feel it is necessary
Alan felt compelled to report the incident to the authorities.
[verb] – to prevent something from happening, being expressed, or continuing
She did her best to stifle her anger out of respect.
[adverb] – in a way that is honest and true, especially about something difficult or painful
Rui candidly admitted his mistakes. I admire his honesty.
[noun] – an action that expresses your feelings or intentions, although it might have little practical effect
The students volunteered to take part in the feeding program as a gesture of their kindness.
[adjective] – without a reason, cause, or argument
Fortunately, Cheska’s worries turned out to be groundless.
Psychologist Robin Banerjee led a team at the University of Sussex to develop an online questionnaire called the Kindness Test. It’s the world’s largest psychological study on the issue of kindness, with over 60,000 people from 144 nations participating. The range of responses was broad, with some people candidly acknowledging that they weren’t always kind while others demonstrating a great level of goodwill. It was evident that compassion was widespread, regardless of people’s age or where they lived. Still, some obstacles keep us from being kinder. The most common reason for not conducting good deeds was the fear of being misunderstood. Well-intentioned gestures of generosity, such as offering a bus seat to a woman who may or may not be pregnant, can be difficult. We also have a fear of embarrassment or rejection. However, Gillian Sandstrom of the University of Sussex, who was part of the team that studied the Kindness Test, discovered that our anxieties about talking to strangers are frequently groundless and that people enjoy it more than they think. Those who have been the recipients of an act of kindness describe themselves as “happy”, “grateful”, “loved”, “relieved” and “pleased”. Under 1 percent of those surveyed stated they were ashamed.
Receiving and offering an act of kindness helps us feel good and delighted. Considering all this, we must start viewing kindness as a strength rather than a weakness.
- Was there an instance where anxiety prevented you from being kind? Please share an incident about it.
- How do you react to strangers who show you an act of kindness?
- If you were one of the respondents of the Kindness Test, how would you describe yourself as someone who has received an act of kindness?
- Do you agree that embarrassment or rejection prevents us from helping others?
- Aside from offering help to others, what are other acts of kindness?