“Kids are intrinsically kind”, says Dr. Michael Tomasello, a professor of developmental psychology at Duke University. They are also, as parents or teachers can attest, prone to bouts of egocentric behavior, riding the complex ups and downs of on-again/off-again compassion over the course of their development.
While greater compassion can, and should, be fostered in kids ― whether through the acknowledgement of a kind act, or through modeling desired behaviour ― there is something incredible about seeing the wheels turn in a child’s head as they make a connection for themselves to the organic reward of kindness that goes beyond the “should” of being kind.
To demonstrate the impact of this connection, we partnered with Dignity Health, and asked a handful of kids ages four to eleven to draw acts of kindness that they had recently encountered. What they drew, and what they said about the power of kindness, is both heartwarming and illuminating. See for yourself!
More than a century of experience and years of scientific research have shown that medicine is more effective when delivered with a kind heart. Dignity Health believes that humankindness holds the power to heal the mind, body, and spirit.
The Great Kindness Challenge, of which Dignity Health has been a supporter for four years, has worked to create a culture of kindness in elementary, middle, and high school students worldwide since 2008. This year’s challenge takes place worldwide January 23 - 27.