I'm a bit behind with the talks, but, thankfully, they can be also watched on demand as well (the series is free, but you do have to sign up for it). So far, I have enjoyed everything I have watched, and today I will tell you about two of the talks which I thought were particularly fascinating.
The first one is by Dr. Dacher Keltner, professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley and author of Born to be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life. He is also the creator of another wonderful website, Greater Good, the Science of a Meaningful Life, which has many resources (articles, videos etc.) about the topic. From his talk, I learned the following:
- Compassion is something innate to humans. Why? Wouldn't it be better if we were all nasty to each other, winner takes all, mentality? Well, no, because we start as extremely vulnerable babies, who could not survive if the adults around them didn't feel compassion for them. He pointed out that, as species, we are the only ones who take such a long time to be able to defend ourselves on our own.
- Kindness turned out to be the number one characteristics that people all over the world, in many different cultures, chose as their number one characteristic they look for in a mate. Not beauty or money or strength.
Dr. Neff's website, Self Compassion, is also full of practical resources, including exercises, even physical ones (how to move your body in certain ways) to help you develop your own self-compassion. And she was also fascinating for another reason. She is the mother of an autistic child, and they are the protagonist in a documentary about how her son discovered by accident that he had a connection to horses, and how the whole family traveled to Mongolia to experience life with horses in nature (http://www.horseboymovie.com/). In the talk, she mentioned how she had used her own techniques of self-compassion in the (many) cases when his son would have public fits (like in long plane rides). It was, all in all, very moving.
Well, I manged to write much more than I thought. But, I do believe that by being aware of these things we can really start to understand that we, as humans, do have to strive to be good, to each other and to ourselves, regardless what society or other forces may be telling us.
What do you think? As always, I'm amazed and thankful that anyone reads these tips and I hope you may want to share your thoughts. I actually discovered Dr. Hanson thanks to a comment by my friend Jennifer to my Tip #5. So wonderful!