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The 52:52:52 project, launching both on this site and on social media in early 2024 will help you address 52 issues with 52 responses over 52 weeks.

A Mundane Comedy is Dominic Kelleher's new book, which will be published in mid 2024. The introduction is available here and further extracts will appear on this site and on social media in the coming months.

This site addresses what's changing, in our own lives, in our organisations, and in wider society. You'll learn about key changes across more than 150 areas, ranging from ageing and time, through nature and animals, to kindness and love...and very much else inbetween.

Halcyon's aim is to help you reflect on how you can better deal with related change in your own life.

What's Changing? - Kindness

Kindness

 

Please see below selected recent kindness-related change.

 

See below:

 

February 2024

  • HBR argued that when anxiety is high and morale is low, kindness isn’t a luxury - it’s a necessity. With mass layoffs, economic uncertainty, and geopolitical tensions, kindness is needed now more than ever, especially at work. Research suggests that kindness yields positive outcomes for businesses. When people receive a compliment or words of recognition, it helps them feel more fulfilled, boosts their self-esteem, improves their self-evaluations, and triggers positive emotions. At an individual level, when people engage in acts of kindness, it boosts serotonin and dopamine - neurotransmitters in the brain that promote feelings of satisfaction and well-being. It also releases endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers.
  • The School of Life asked: why might kindness be so hard to bear? Why should warmth prove – on occasion - repulsive? Because, through no fault of our own, our whole character may have been built up around the need to cope well with not being given what we want; with not finding intimate satisfaction, with not being the recipient of anyone’s reliable kindness, with being foiled in our search for tenderness and sympathy. Somewhere in our past, we are liable to have experienced severe let-down, against which we had to insulate ourselves with a plethora of clever defensive strategies. We learnt to always reject before we were rejected.

 

January 2024

 

June 2023

 

March 2023

  • Maria Popova points to the idea that we should “Practice kindness all day to everybody and you will realise you’re already in heaven now,” which Jack Kerouac wrote in a 1957 letter to his first wife turned lifelong friend. “Kindness, kindness, kindness,” Susan Sontag resolved in her diary on New Year’s Day in 1972. Half a century later, the Dalai Lama placed a single exhortation at the center of his ethical and ecological philosophy: “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

 

January 2023

  • The modern world is richer, safer and more connected than ever before but, for The School of Life it is arguably also a far less loving world than we need or want: impatience, self-righteousness, moralism and viciousness are rife while forgiveness, tolerance and sympathetic good humour can be in short supply. TSOL's A More Loving World rallies us to remember how much we all long for, and depend on, love: how much we need people to forgive us our errors, how much everyone deserves to be treated with consideration and imagination, and how being truly civilised means extending patience and kindness to all.

 

December 2022

 

June 2022

 

April 2022

  • The School of Life cautioned that some of what holds people back from showing greater love is a sense that it would be dangerous and woolly-minded to do so. Too much sensitivity and sweetness, too much tolerance and sympathy appear to be the enemies of an appropriately grown-up and hard-headed existence. Such types are not saying that it wouldn’t be delightful if we could display compassion and tenderness towards one another, if we could be sensitive to the sufferings of strangers and quick to forgive and understand the failings of our colleagues and lovers; they just don’t think that this has much relevance in the real world.

 

March 2022

  • More than 60,000 people took part in the world’s largest in-depth study on kindness. Three-quarters of people said they received kindness from close friends or family quite often or nearly all the time. And when asked about the most recent time someone was kind to them, 16% of people said it was within the last hour and a further 43% said it was within the last day. Whatever people’s age or wherever they lived, kindness was very common.

 

September 2021

  • In Kindness Isn’t Weakness, The School of Life argued that some of what holds people back from showing greater love is a sense that it would be dangerous and woolly-minded to do so. Too much sensitivity and sweetness, too much tolerance and sympathy appear to be the enemies of an appropriately grown-up and hard-headed existence. Such types are not saying that it wouldn’t be delightful if we could display compassion and tenderness towards one another, if we could be sensitive to the sufferings of strangers and quick to forgive and understand the failings of our colleagues and lovers; they just don’t think that this has much relevance in the real world.

 

April 2021

  • According to The School of Life, if we’re to stay alive, we need radically to redraw our moral code and return to kindness the prestige that it should always have had. We have learnt far too much about a lack of mercy, about panic, about self-suspicion and finding oneself pitiful. Now we need to rediscover the virtues of forgiveness, mercy, calm and gentleness. And when we panic and feel intensely anxious about the future, we need to remember that we are in essence worrying about our fundamental legitimacy and loveability. Our survival depends on a swift mastery of the art of self-compassion.

 

September 2020

  • Practice kindness all day to everybody and you will realise you’re already in heaven now,” Jack Kerouac wrote in a letter to his first wife and lifelong friend. Somehow, despite our sincerest intentions, we repeatedly fall short of this earthly divinity, so readily available yet so easily elusive. Psychoanalyst Adam Phillips and historian Barbara Taylor in their book, On Kindnessobserved that “we are never as kind as we want to be, but nothing outrages us more than people being unkind to us”, noted Maria Popova.
  • Positive News notes that in a world that is increasingly time-pressured and an economic model that has an unyielding focus on improving efficiency, it is easier than ever to overlook or de-prioritise your personal feelings and needs. But according to psychologists, the art of self-kindness, although something that can be honed, is not something that should be optional. Whether it be in the realms of the physical, emotional, spiritual, or indeed professional, being conscious and sensitive towards yourself, they say, is key preparation for everything that life throws at us.“It can change your life massively,” said Juandri Buitendag, a counselling psychologist, adding that “It’s true that at first humans were just on this world to survive. But the world has changed and there are many things to deal with: we’re on this constant hamster wheel. Therefore, self-care, self-kindness and empathy is so important.

 

May 2020

 

March 2020

 

December 2019

  • Kindness in business is oddly complicated, believes the Financial Times. We delight in it on a personal level, yet we are unsure it is a good or even necessary quality in the workplace. If we were surer, the business psychologist, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, might have struggled to write one of 2019’s most popular business books - Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders - a guide to the overconfident, reckless narcissists who so often end up in charge, suggesting perhaps that  in work people prefer charisma to humility and kindness.

 

November 2019

 

 

September 2019

  • A study from the UK looked at dating preferences of 2,700 international students. The study found that kindness was the top trait preferred by both men and women in a lifelong partner. Looks, financial stability and a sense of humour were also important, but less so, and with differences across cultures. One interesting cultural difference that emerged from the study was that while humour was considered indispensable for men to people in all cultures, it was a "necessity" only for the Western men. It's less of a priority in Eastern cultures, suggests the research.

 

December 2018

 

November 2018

 

September 2018

  • A new book from The School of Life wants to help us to be nicer: that is, less irritable, more patient, readier to listen, warmer, less prickly. Niceness may not have the immediate allure of money or fame, but it is a hugely important quality nevertheless and one that we neglect at our peril. TSOL's guidebook to the uncharted landscape of niceness, promised to gently lead readers around the key themes of this forgotten quality, to help us learn how to be charitable, how to forgive, how to be natural, and how to reassure.

 

August 2018

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