Wikipedia talk:Kindness Campaign

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Peace dove.gif
                          Thank you every member who is trying to make Wikipedia a better place.
                                   For ideas for cheering people up, ending arguments, 
                   spreading love; the list is endless. --RichardOwen97 (talk) 22:18, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
                                                  Kindness Campaign Member

I moved all the comments on the page to either:


evrik 16:41, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Any Ideas?[edit]

Our current logo is the Peace Dove (right).

Peace dove.gif

But some people do not liking the Peace Dove as much as others. If you have any ideas on a different logo please tell us on this section. We would like to take you ideas on board and give you our opinions. Or if you have any other ideas besides the logo, please tell. Regards, --RichardOwen97 (talk) 21:53, 5 January 2010 (UTC), Kindness Campaign member.

I kinda like the dove. -- œ 09:34, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Well, I think that the dove should stay, because the dove is a peace sign, and it fits well with the Kindness Campaign. TheCatGod (talk) 03:05, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Project directory[edit]

Hello. The WikiProject Council has recently updated the Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Directory. This new directory includes a variety of categories and subcategories which will, with luck, potentially draw new members to the projects who are interested in those specific subjects. Please review the directory and make any changes to the entries for your project that you see fit. There is also a directory of portals, at User:B2T2/Portal, listing all the existing portals. Feel free to add any of them to the portals or comments section of your entries in the directory. The three columns regarding assessment, peer review, and collaboration are included in the directory for both the use of the projects themselves and for that of others. Having such departments will allow a project to more quickly and easily identify its most important articles and its articles in greatest need of improvement. If you have not already done so, please consider whether your project would benefit from having departments which deal in these matters. It is my hope that all the changes to the directory can be finished by the first of next month. Please feel free to make any changes you see fit to the entries for your project before then. If you should have any questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you. B2T2 13:55, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Also available: A list of all Wikipedia:WikiProject pages and A list of all Portal: pages if those help ya any. ~Kylu (u|t) 22:16, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Random Smiley Award Project[edit]

For the last two weeks, I've been doling out Random Smileys - a variation on the Random Acts of Kindness philosophy, except in the form of those yellow "Have A Nice Day" smileys. I've received many kind thanks and well-wishes, and was referred to this group by one editor.

If anyone is willing to help take part in the project, please go to User:Pedia-I/SmileyAward and scroll down to see the list of variant templates which you can place on User or User:Talk pages. In the works are several upcoming models, including a new Chocolate Chip Cookie Smiley - with chocolate chips forming the familiar face, this time on a cookie. This would work especially well for those who are allergic to the "Have A Nice Day" concept as a result of overexposure during the 1970s.

Thus far I've been doling them out to randomly-picked editors, usually by starting with one user and then picking one of the recent people who have edited that person's talk page, then repeating the process. Any other random or pseudorandom method would work.

If several volunteers each add 5 - 10 Smileys per day, before long Wikipedia will be teaming with the bright yellow faces. It will be a happier, sunnier place in which to work.

The template codes for the various current types of Smileys are as follows (pick one):

  • {{User:Pedia-I/SmileyAward1}}
  • {{User:Pedia-I/SmileyAward2}}
  • {{User:Pedia-I/SmileyAward3}}
  • {{User:Pedia-I/SmileyAward4}}

Heartfelt thanks to those who are willing to help out. Pedia-I 21:39, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

How to become a member?[edit]

How to become a member of the Kindness Campaign? Kkrystian 18:30 (UTC+1) 22 Dec 2006

Wikipedia Day Awards[edit]

Hello, all. It was initially my hope to try to have this done as part of Esperanza's proposal for an appreciation week to end on Wikipedia Day, January 15. However, several people have once again proposed the entirety of Esperanza for deletion, so that might not work. It was the intention of the Appreciation Week proposal to set aside a given time when the various individuals who have made significant, valuable contributions to the encyclopedia would be recognized and honored. I believe that, with some effort, this could still be done. My proposal is to, with luck, try to organize the various WikiProjects and other entities of wikipedia to take part in a larger celebrartion of its contributors to take place in January, probably beginning January 15, 2007. I have created yet another new subpage for myself (a weakness of mine, I'm afraid) at User talk:Badbilltucker/Appreciation Week where I would greatly appreciate any indications from the members of this project as to whether and how they might be willing and/or able to assist in recognizing the contributions of our editors. Thank you for your attention. Badbilltucker 18:52, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

  • I think that this is a good idea. If you are able to start it I would be happy to support it:) God bless you all :) --James, La gloria è a dio 22:30, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Kindness Campaign userboxes[edit]

I noticed that there currently exists a redundancy in the userboxes for the Kindness Campaign. Template:User KC and Template:User wikipedia/Kindness Campaign are nearly identical and both are in widespread use. Wikipedia: Kindness Campaign states that the official userbox is {{user KC}}, but {{user wikipedia/Kindness Campaign}} was created earlier. It would be very easy to integrate the code into a single template, but I'm not sure which to propose for deletion. Any thoughts? +A.Ou 05:58, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Yuser31415 has redirected Template:User wikipedia/Kindness Campaign to Template:User KC. +A.Ou 22:26, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia's triple crown[edit]

I've started a new set of user awards to thank editors for outstanding contributions to the project. See User:Durova/Triple crown winner's circle. In particular I hope Kindness Campaign volunteers spread word about the valiant return triple crown. For several months now I've had a standing offer to award the Resilient Barnstar to any editor who starts a new article that gets highlighted at Template:Did you know after receiving an arbitration sanction. I'm expanding that barnstar offer to include any editor who accomplishes that after making a legitimate return from a siteban and have devoted a special edition triple crown for editors who come back from the brink. DurovaCharge! 04:18, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

WikiAmbassador Award[edit]

When someone joins, many times spend long time until feeling comfortable or welcome. The Welcoming Committee is a good think and the patrollers also, however there are Wikipedians who distinguish themselves for their kind and helpful approach to newcomers transmitting a spirit of really wanting to help others and the Wikipedia Project, getting involved.

I know that there are many awards to give to who is kind and so, but I wonder if exists or can be created a nice looking, laureate looking award called Goodwill WikiAmbassador or Kindness WikiAmbassador or Welcoming WikiAmbassador (in that order of preference). Those individuals are who make others want to join and want to establish a kindness interrelation environment, they are the key to many good things inside Wikipedia as well and should be recognized as such. The title Ambassador will reflect a lot about what they are and what they do. I propose and introduce this but need someone for creating it because I lack the skills. Please let me know. Daoken 10:47, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

When the situation heats up[edit]

I wanted to propose these for eventual use:

When a person gets involved in an argument and doesn't know how to step down:

When you see an argument which is turning bad:

Daoken 19:30, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

  • Fine with me. --evrik (talk) 15:47, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
personally, I don't use templates except on trolls. I don;t even use form notes of my own, but write it out each time, and write it in such a way to make clear it's not a copy and paste. But the most effective phrase i know is simply, it's getting late, lets continue this tomorrow. Because he one thing that always works (if anything will) is to stop the cave-man feelings of always fighting back by simply waiting a day or two. Generally, in a day or two something equally urgent has come up and the discussion can be seen in more perspective. Another think I like to say is "let's compromise if we want to get anywhere" -- it's sort of a screening device--if the answer is no, it's time for some other line of approach. The best thing I know then is informal third opinion, just asking someone else to join. DGG (talk) 04:54, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Harlem Academy[edit]

This is a new user who I think needs some help. I believe it is a teacher and her students. They're asking me questions that I don't feel like I can answer. I placed a welcome tag on there page and recommended the adopt-a-user program. Can anyone extend a helping hand to this user?--Endless Dan 20:02, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Lightweight thanking mechanism in article histories[edit]

If you are interested in Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#Lightweight thanking mechanism in article histories, please comment. Melchoir (talk) 20:43, 2 March 2008 (UTC)


I have come up with this template for apologising to some one. Aswell as a return handshake - to see it go through the link.

Nice, but some of the wording reads wrong, suggest correcting. BTW, I noticed someone got a plate of cookies for their welcome message. That's liable to make some folks jealous.  ;) --THE FOUNDERS INTENT TALK 19:36, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

I think this template just got messed up. :\ --THE FOUNDERS INTENT TALK 13:51, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Admin thanks[edit]

I just wanted some opinions on the below template I created for thanking admins. Pretty much all admins deserve this, but let's not get too carried away. The code is {{Admin thanks}}--RyRy5 (talk) 10:35, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia Administrator.svg Thank you, Kindness Campaign, for being a very trustworthy administrator. Have a great day! Regards, RyRy5 (talk) 10:36, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

I'd Love To Spread Some Love[edit]

This sounds like such an excellent program. Why don't I see more of these templates?? All I ever see are caution signs. One editor pointed out to me that we don't handle nuclear material here. I would love to be a part of the Kindness Campaign. Will someone contact me to discuss it? Cheers. --digitalmischief (talk) 13:07, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

New headline thingy[edit]

I think we need something like the thing you put on vandals talk pages, but instead you put it on people's talk pages who need to calm down. I also made something to thank xeno, and people should do this sort of thing more often. It was this one.

Bathrobecabalicon.png I award you this funky thing as a sign of appreciation for helping me with all my

trivial questions, and hope that you continue to be as kind and friendly
as you have been because I may have some more pointless questions.

I just want to be a perfect wikipedian!


It took me five minutes and he thanked me back so I modyfied it and gave it to adolphus who also helped me get started. 'nuf said. --'The Ninjalemming' 19:10, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

For arguments[edit]

For people that had arguments, you could use the template I created, {{Peace dove}} as a way of saying sorry. Any comments? α§ʈάt̪íňέ-210 discovered elementswhat am I? 16:16, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Hey nice one -) 'The Ninjalemming'' 17:00, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
The wings come up faint on my computer. Maybe if you used black instead of gray? Yours, GeorgeLouis (talk) 05:22, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Boldface in userbox[edit]

I'm not sure why Kindness Campaign is boldfaced in the userbox nor how to get rid of it. In puzzlement, GeorgeLouis (talk) 05:21, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Thanks to no one for responding. It very kind of no one. Yours, GeorgeLouis (talk) 23:36, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Sorry about that George. Thanks for your fix. As you can tell, this isn't the most active section of Wikipedia. I'm hoping maybe we can correct that... Cheers! – ClockworkSoul 07:44, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

New Award:WikiLove Award[edit]

They say, at the wikipedia awards, that I could offer this award to the kindness campaign (which is why I went here). Would you like to take this? WikiLove Barnstar Proposal 1.png Thanks. All the best, Kayau (Talk to me! See what I've done! Sign my guestbook!) 09:35, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Spoilsport Award[edit]

I have boldly created the {{The Spoilsport Award}} template:

Italian traffic signs - fine zona residenziale.svg The Spoilsport Award
Has been given to you for killing a perfectly good argument or WikiWar by introduction of the truth, the facts, sanity, or just plain common sense. Thank you for your act of WikiLove (whether you intended it to be one or not).

[a message could be added here]

Hope you like it. TransporterMan (talk) 05:15, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Thats pretty funny, i like it! -Euphoria42 (talk) 21:01, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Not Holding a Grudge Award[edit]

I created an award (not as a template) after I had a short but heated edit war with someone, who then almost immediately started talking to me like we were best friend. He didn't hold a grudge for a second. I wanted to let him know that I noticed that. It got me thinking that I could make it a generalize "Not Holding a Grudge Award" so I was bold and created:

{{subst:Not Holding a Grudge Award|Optional message|~~~~}}

It appears as:

Barnstar Handshake.png Not Holding a Grudge Award
This Wikipedians was willing to shake hands and not hold a grudge at the end of a dispute or long-standing difference. Optional message

I have seen several cases of people having what should be a single edit war, coming to an agreed upon solution, only to get into an entirely new war about something else a few days later. They end up with a grudge against each other. So I thought that after someone gave and or received a “Peace Dove”, and they were able to come to reconciliation, this could be given in order avoid holding on to grudges. I hope you all like it.--ARTEST4ECHO talk 19:43, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

It's great :) I love it. Perfect example of WP:LETITGO and WP:WIN in action. -- œ 05:10, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

The Wikipedian Red Cross Barnstar[edit]

I have nominated {{The Wikipedian Red Cross Barnstar}} for deletion because I believe it violates the Red Cross's trademark and rights under the Geneva Conventions.

If I congratulate you on an insightful edit, I'm acting in my role as a Wikipedia editor. If I come to your what's left of your house at 3 AM because you need a hotel room, I'm acting in my role as a Red Cross volunteer. Both are good, but shouldn't be muddled together. Jc3s5h (talk) 23:08, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Barnstar of Humility[edit]

"For those humble editors who can admit when they made a mistake, don't gloat about their successes, and support the meek."

Kinda in the same vein as the "Not Holding a Grudge Award" above. If someone wants to make this up I think it'll make a great addition to the list. Just wondering what image should go with it. -- œ 08:04, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Updating award lists[edit]

Anybody mind if I add a few items to the barnstar lists? - Hydroxonium (talk) 10:35, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

No of course not, go ahead. -- œ 03:46, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
Face-smile.svg Thank you - Hydroxonium (TCV) 05:08, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

1 more[edit]

I would like to participate. I am also working on getting kindness on the meta side on strategy. I am familiar with WP:BITE. ~~EBE123~~ talkContribs 21:38, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Welcome aboard! :) -- œ 03:09, 6 August 2011 (UTC)


When one of your Kindness Campaigners is a complete and utter hypocritical asshole, where does one go to complain about that?
Varlaam (talk) 04:52, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Well, normally first you'd bring it up on that user's talk page, and see if perhaps the situation can be resolved maturely. There are steps to dispute resolution one can take if things escalate. I'm sorry to hear that someone associated with the Kindness Campaign has behaved that way. We don't screen our members, so unfortunately not everyone here practices what they preach. -- œ 03:08, 6 August 2011 (UTC)


Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar.png

We like kindness on Wikipedia! see project

 :) Benzband (talk) 12:52, 27 September 2011 (UTC)


We like kindness on Wikipedia! see project

 :) Benzband (talk) 19:37, 20 November 2011 (UTC)


Hi, are there any templates (or whatever, really) that can be used to restore kindness in a heated discussion? That is, as a third-party? Thankyou, benzband (talk) 19:55, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Peace dove.gif Hi Benzband! What about this picture combined with a friendly, personal text? Lova Falk talk 11:36, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
Awesome, thank you! I had actually forgotten all about this question… but i shall certainly use it when the need arises! SFriendly.svg benzband (talk) 13:39, 13 February 2013 (UTC)


The "spreading kindness" sections talks about third-opinion Wikipedians and has an external (or so it seems) link to the category of third-opinion Wikipedians but it is still on the English Wikipedia. I attempted to fix this with 2 brackets on either side,[[]], but the link showed up as: left bracket-external link-right bracket when I pressed the "show preview" button. It seems to be an obvious typo, but I can't fix it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Drla8th! (talkcontribs) 23:17, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

Fixed (see diff) benzband (talk) 10:18, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

WP:KIS label[edit]

Your WP:Keep It Simple label, {{User label WPKindness}} is in danger of being deleted. See (Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2013 February 6#Template:User_label.) If you still want it, you may wish to move it to project space, perhaps the redirect page Template:Label WPKindness by placing {{db-move|Template:User label WPKindness|[[Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2013 February 6#Template:User_label]]}} above the redirect. Also see {{user label}} for technical details. Feel free to review my planning page, User:PC-XT/KIS, and talk there if you have questions. PC-XT (talk) 00:37, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

Still active?[edit]

It doesn't appear that much is going on around here. I'd like to try rejuvenating this project, perhaps by having a Wikipedia Kindness Day or something. Any takers? AutomaticStrikeout  ?  03:26, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

  1. Sounds like a great idea. Hmlarson (talk) 04:50, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
  2. User:Technical 13/+3 TheOriginalSoni (talk) 15:33, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
  3. 👍 Like Lova Falk talk 07:27, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
  4. Would have my full support –
     – Gareth Griffith-Jones |The Welsh Buzzard|— 09:10, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
  5. Excellent idea; go for it and I will be glad to help in any way I can. With kind regards; Patrick. ツ Pdebee. (talk) 22:40, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

Shouldn't this be moved?[edit]

Since this is a wikiproject I believe it should be moved to WikiProject Kindness Campaign. XOttawahitech (talk) 03:15, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

RfC on a redirect used for hidden personal attacks[edit]

An RfC has been made regarding a redirect misused to attack editors without clear notice to them. Please feel free to participate. Nick Levinson (talk) 03:15, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

New userboxes for accessing 'Thanks logs'.[edit]

Hello everyone, Face-smile.svg

One simple way of demonstrating or acknowledging kindness is to express gratitude to helpful editors via the (thank) button. Every time a user does this, his/her 'Thanks log' is updated.

I have therefore created the following userboxes, which link to thanks given and received.

Code Result
Thank You.jpg This editor has given thanks to these Wikipedians. Crystal Clear app Community Help.png
Thank You.jpg This editor has been thanked by these Wikipedians. Crystal Clear app Community Help.png

Happy thanking! Face-wink.svg

With kind regards;
Patrick. ツ Pdebee. (talk) 01:45, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Proposed addition to "Avoiding personal attacks"[edit]

There is a proposal to add a short paragraph to the "Avoiding personal attacks" section of the No personal attacks policy page. The discussion is Proposed addition to "Avoiding personal attacks". Your participation is welcome. Lightbreather (talk) 01:27, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

Deletion to Quality Award[edit]

I've created the WP:Deletion to Quality Award.

This recognizes editors who've taken a page previously considered for deletion — to Featured Article or Good Article quality.

The award is inspired by the Wikipedia:Million Award, the Wikipedia:Article Rescue Squadron, and the Wikipedia:WikiProject Quality Article Improvement.

Please see Wikipedia:Deletion to Quality Award.

Thank you,

Cirt (talk) 10:27, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

Practicing kindness on Wikimedia - A draft manifesto for the Kindness Campaign[edit]

I lucked upon your campaign today, and want to help. Movements need Manifestos. Here are some prompts towards a first -- community-written -- draft. I think your campaign should extend to all Wikimedia projects, but I focus on WP here. - Kindest regards; LeoRomero (talk) 18:28, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

Practical applications of Kindness in Wikipedia[edit]

For the empirical bases of these recommendations, please see Research notes below.

  1. Develop a Kindness Policy Page, along the lines of:
    1. Definition: kind, adj. - having a benevolent, courteous, friendly, generous, gentle, liberal, sympathetic, or warm-hearted nature or disposition, marked by consideration for - and service to - others.[1]
    2. We encourage Kindness - it is at the heart of Wikipedia, the spirit that got it started, and the force that will rock the world.
    3. Beyond Civility - Civil behavior is the minimum requirement at Wikipedia. Kindness goes beyond that. While Civility entails common courtesy, Kindness is marked by uncommon acts of compassion and service. In practice, it means higher standards of behavior. For example:
      1. First, do no harm. Be bold to do, slow to undo. Unless an edit is egregious, don't revert or undo. Try to make it better instead.
      2. Be inclusive. Embrace diversity. Loob[2] the noob.
      3. Go beyond the Golden Rule: treat others as you treat yourself, but better.
    4. Unlike Civility, Kindness at Wikipedia is optional. You are not required to be kind.
    5. If you'd like to help spread a culture of kindness, we encourage you to opt into the more controversial parts of this initiative: Persistent identity and Reputation (Please read details in the proposal).
  2. Make Kindness a Movement
    1. Create a Kindness Initiative WikiProject of Wikipedians (KiWi?) to be the vanguard[3] of the movement.
    2. Have those con/video calls that Fabrice recommended (see the "Better communication channels" section of his proposal).
    3. Train kiwis on:
      1. Psychology of kindness, inc benefits (longer, healthier, meaningfuler, happier lives - even more for those who give than for those who receive)
      2. Psychology of unkindness, inc why we expect - but don't give - kindness, and other cognitive biases that get in the way of empathy, compassion, and understanding.
      3. Empathy, inc active listening - translate into techniques for active reading/writing, f.e paraphrase a Contributor's comments before making suggestions; do Paul Eckman's Microexpression empathy exercises.
      4. Emotional intelligence;
      5. Mindfulness, loving-kindness.
    4. Engage in "service activities" and other "systematic opportunities" that promote kindness in Wikipedia, f.e a monthly Day of Kindness, when kiwis all together use tools (like the Thank link and the Heart button), to spread the culture, and to recruit more members into the movement, with a focus on diversity and newbies (see the "Diversify our community" and "Help for newbies" sections of the proposal). Produce a calendar of activities in consultation with kiwis.
    5. Conduct "reflections" (assessments) after the activities, so as to "internalize" values that promote kindness.
    6. Recognize kindness - f.e via UserPage KiWi badges, links to kiwi events, stories, meeting minutes, a.s.o. Celebrate the work of KiWi as a movement, not of individual kiwis, to reduce incentive distortions, f.e gaming the system (not that a kiwi would ever do that). Generate incentives in consultation with kiwis.
  3. yadda
  4. yadda
  5. yadda[4]


Can kindness be taught?[edit]

  • From Can we teach kindness?[5]
    • In a recent experiment, a team of scientists from Northeastern University in Boston advertised a meditation class and recruited a set of volunteers. Half of the respondents went along to the sessions, while the other half were told that they were on a waiting list instead. For those who attended, the course involved different forms of compassion meditation which has its roots in Tibetan Buddhism. In essence, the classes were designed to encourage people to pick up on shared characteristics rather than their differences, says social psychology professor David DeSteno, who helped carry out the research.[6] Once the classes were complete, all of the respondents - including those still on the waiting list - were subject to a real-world test that they were unaware was taking place. One by one, they were called to attend a meeting. Before it began, they entered a waiting room with three chairs. Two were occupied by actors, leading the participant to sit down at the third. "After a couple of minutes, a woman would walk in on crutches - wincing with pain - and lean against the wall. The actors looked away and didn't give up their chairs," says DeSteno. Of those who had received the compassion training, around half stood up to offer their chair to the woman, and for those who had not, the figure was just 15%. They concluded that our willingness to help strangers is flexible, and can be shaped by small changes in perception. "The underlying argument in all of this is that if we can get people to see similarities instead of differences, their willingness to help will increase," he says.
    • In northern California, another group of researchers has turned to virtual reality to investigate what causes us to help other people.[7] "A lot of the work we do asks the question 'If I give someone a very intense virtual experience, how does it affect their behaviour in the real world?'" says Jeremy Bailenson, a professor at Stanford University's human interaction laboratory. The team devised a "Superman" test in which subjects donned virtual reality goggles and were dropped into an evacuated city. Some were told that they had superhuman powers, and had to deliver a shot of insulin to a diabetic child stranded somewhere nearby. "You lift your arms above your head to fly, and rotate your body to go in another direction - just like Superman in the movies," says Bailenson. Other participants were taken on a tourists' helicopter ride around the city instead. Once the child had been found, or the helicopter ride was complete, the participants sat through an interview that they were not told was part of the experiment. Halfway through the meeting, the researcher would knock over a pot of stationery on a desk. Interviewees who had been given superhuman powers in the virtual world rushed to help clean up the mess more often than those who had not - many of whom did nothing at all. The findings suggest that the more empowered people feel, the greater their propensity to show kindness to others.
    • In the UK, another study has attempted to go one step further - by introducing the idea of aggression and violence into the equation. Mel Slater, professor of virtual environments at University College London, hoped to recreate the conditions for the "bystander effect" in a controlled setting. Using another form of virtual reality, the participants - 40 fans of Arsenal football club - were each placed in a room in which the floor and most of the walls were made up of video screens. The virtual environment was a pub, where the subjects were approached and befriended by a virtual customer at the bar. In some instances the customer was a plain-clothed member of the public, but in others they were a fellow Arsenal fan who engaged in a discussion about the team's recent fortunes. After a few minutes, a second virtual drinker would wander over and start abusing the participant's new acquaintance, verbally at first, and then physically as well. "In both cases we recorded how many times the subject tried to intervene, both physically and with speech," says Slater. Although they had only just met, the participant leapt to the aid of their fellow Arsenal fan far more often than they did for the plain-clothed stranger. According to some researchers, the Kitty Genovese case [caveat[8]] suggested that the more people were watching, the less likely they were to intervene. "It is more complicated than that," says Slater. "It's also about how much we identify with others."[9]
    • The results of his team's work chime with that of DeSteno in Boston, which concluded that we look for "any marker of similarity" when taking decisions about who to help. "All social living involves trade-offs between short-term and long-term gains. What we're interested in is how we can nudge the mind to look to the long-term," says DeSteno. Does he think that Genovese could really have been saved had her neighbours been trained in compassion? "We don't have that data, so we can't say for sure," he says. "But my hunch is yes, it would have likely increased their willingness to help."
  • From Can Kindness Be Taught?[10] and Is It Too Late To Not Be a Jerk? A Discussion Of the Teachability Of Kindness[11]
    • EM: Like most of us, I have worked with some unkind individuals, and I have found that most can be taught to be kind. I believe this reflects human beings' innate capacity for kindness, which means we are perhaps trying to strengthen a tendency, or help with relearning, rather than inculcate something foreign to our nature ... Kindness depends also on possessing certain learnable skills, and these are included in most evidence-based efforts to promote children's social-emotional and character development. And we need to be prepared to teach kindness, because it can be delayed due to maltreatment early in life. It can be smothered under the weight of poverty, and it can be derailed by victimization later in life. Yet despite these and other travails, the receipt of kindness and the ability to show kindness through service are both growth enhancing and soul cleansing ... Kindness can be taught, but it is also appropriate to consider it needing nurturing. From horrific experiences of genocide, we know that kindness may be suspended but it cannot be extinguished. It is a defining aspect of civilized human life. It belongs in every home, school, neighborhood, and society.
    • Kathy Beland is lead author of School-Connect: Optimizing the High School Experience, a social emotional learning curriculum; original author of the Second Step violence prevention curriculum series; and has been a teacher and school administrator: Empathy has three components: 1) recognizing how another person is feeling, 2) taking the person’s perspective, and 3) vicariously feeling what the person is feeling. Without the last component we may feel sympathy for the person’s plight but may not be moved towards compassionate behavior. Empathy involves emotional connection, defines what it means to be human, and forms the basis for altruism. And, most definitely, it can be taught and learned ... perspective taking can be developed by regularly imagining what it is like to stand in another person’s shoes. You can enhance this capacity in yourself and others by practicing active listening skills. These include making eye contact, reflecting feelings by mirroring their expression or saying “sounds as if you’re feeling ______,” and paraphrasing what you hear the person say in order to check for understanding of their experience ... We naturally feel greater empathy for people with whom we have more in common. For example, we are more likely to experience empathy with a colleague who is late on a joint project because her daughter is ill if we are friends with her, have juggled work with raising children, and value responsibility to family over work responsibilities. So what happens when we don’t match up in this way? This is where we lean on our imaginations of what it must be like to be in her situation. We can also fall back on the golden rule, treating others as we would like to be treated.
    • Mary Gordon is a social entrepreneur, educator, author and child advocate who has been creating programs informed by the power of empathy—including the internationally recognized Roots of Empathy—for over 30 years: Kindness is caught, not taught. Children who experience kindness directly in the earliest years are predisposed to be kind, because the experience of being treated kindly is biologically embedded in the child’s brain. Children come predisposed to be empathic, and they come predisposed to be kind and cooperative ... But before kindness even enters the picture there must be empathy, because, without empathy, the ability to understand how another feels, kindness is not likely. So, the real question is: Can empathy be taught? [aw man! now i gotta research empathy too?! that's not kind. - LR]
    • Maurice J. Elias is a professor of psychology at Rutgers University and academic director of the Rutgers Civic Engagement and Service Education Partnerships Program. He also maintains a blog on social-emotional and character development at As a clinical psychologist, I have worked with some unkind individuals, and I have found that most can be taught to be kind. One reason for this is that human beings have the capacity for kindness, so it’s not as if we are trying to teach something that is entirely unfamiliar or ungrounded ... Building capacity for kindness is one of many interrelated tasks of social-emotional and character development. It is related, in part, to our ability to detect and understand signs of different feelings in others, our sense of responsibility and compassion, and the organizational and interpersonal skills required to carry out actions in others’ interest ... There is no easy, singular path to teaching kindness. It is part of our emotional intelligence and it occurs as part of our social-emotional and character development ... Regardless, two key principles of how one teaches kindness are to promote empathy via service and to start local and build outward to global. Give people systematic opportunities to do good for others in ways that can be successful and increasingly challenging. Give them the preparation and understanding needed before the task—explain why the act of kindness is needed (or let them find out via their own research and inquiry), rehearse the actual behaviors necessary (such as how to reach your intended helpee without trampling everyone in your path) — and provide opportunity for reflection afterwards, so that the feelings that accompanied the act can be accurately processed ... Gradually, attention can shift to the unfortunate and neglected and voiceless in one’s neighborhood and surrounding communities — up close and personal experiences that have an emotional charge essential for building deep empathy and promoting kindness ... Yes, kindness can be taught, but it is more appropriate to consider it as something already present that requires nurturing.
    • David A. Levine is the Director of the Institute for Social and Emotional Learning at the Ashokan Center in Olivebridge, NY. He is the author of several books, including Teaching Empathy: A Blueprint for Caring, Compassion and Community: By talking about kindness and recognizing it as it occurs, we highlight it as something worthy. It is a natural inclination to make kind choices, and it feels good too. Once, while leading a conversation with a class of 8th graders in the Bronx, NY, I asked if any had ever reached out to help someone they did not know. Many shared experiences from the neighborhood, recounting stories such as helping a woman from a neighboring building carry her groceries up three flights of stairs, volunteering to walk alongside an elderly man as he crossed a busy street, and standing up for a kid who was being hassled by some other kids. Everyone sitting in the circle that day felt good in the telling and in the listening to each other’s stories of good deeds done. The class came to a collective consciousness that it feels good to offer kindness to others, especially if you’re acting from an authentic place, rather than from a place of obligation ... Brazilian educator and social activist Paolo Freire taught people to appreciate what they already knew — to take control of their own knowledge and to create their own educations through a process he called “naming the world.” We can name the world of kindness by providing opportunities for young people to volunteer ... When we provide opportunities for young people to practice kindness toward others and invite them to talk about the experience, they internalize the truth in the phrase to give is to receive.
    • Barbara Oakley is a professor of engineering at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. She is the lead co-editor of Pathological Altruism and the author of Cold-Blooded Kindness and Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mother’s Boyfriend: Some people can never be taught to be kind, no matter how hard you might try. For example, efforts to teach psychopaths how to be kind have backfired. The psychopaths simply become more adept at manipulating other people. Sometimes, then, the better part of kindness is not to presume everyone can be taught kindness. On the flip side, there are people who are naturally very empathetic. Their psychic pain when others are hurting can push them into depression or burnout. They can be like candy for manipulative people. If you try to teach overly empathetic people to be kind, you inadvertently worsen one of their most troublesome traits. Sometimes then, it’s best not to presume everyone needs to be taught kindness. Nowadays, some kids grow up in rough environments that call for firm street smarts. Others literally grow up in a war zone. Unilateral teachings of “kindness” might strip these kids of the tough exterior they need to survive—the equivalent of declawing a cat and letting it lose in the woods. Sometimes then, it’s best to realize that kindness is not a uniformly helpful quality. Kindness has great benefits. But if we teach it, we must reach beyond the superficial and emphasize that notions of kindness can both help and hurt. Kindness is a quality that must always be balanced with realism and discernment.

What's in it for me?[edit]

  • Kinder people live longer, healthier lives ... experience fewer aches and pains. Giving help to others protects overall health twice as much as aspirin protects against heart disease ... This is a stronger effect than exercising four times a week or going to church ... as beneficial to our health as quitting smoking ... We feel so good when we give because we get what researchers call a "helpers high," or a distinct physical sensation associated with helping. This is probably a literal "high," similar to a drug-induced high ... Kindness makes us happy ... This may be especially true for kids. Adolescents who identify their primary motive as helping others are three times happier than those who lack such altruistic motivation. Similarly, teens who are giving are also happier and more active, involved, excited, and engaged than their less engaged counterparts ... It isn't just that kind people also tend to be healthier and happier, or that happy, healthy people are more kind. Experiments have actually demonstrated again and again that kindness toward others actually causes us to be happier, improves our health, and lengthens our lives.[12]
  • Numerous studies have shown that receiving, giving, or even witnessing acts of kindness increases immunity and the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood in the brain. A recent study at the University of British Columbia showed that even toddlers may show psychological benefits from giving. Researchers compared toddlers’ displays of happiness after giving their own Goldfish cracker or a Goldfish cracker handed to them by a researcher to a puppet and found that toddlers displayed greater happiness when they shared their own crackers than when they gave away a cracker provided by the researcher. These findings suggest that humans, as innately social beings, may even be biologically predisposed toward acts of kindness. Kindness may foster community and sharing of resources, which ensures resiliency and survival. Additionally, kindness may nourish one’s sense of purpose and meaning, and reduce tension accumulated through interpersonal conflict. Even just thinking and talking about kindness can improve happiness and peace. Nourishing kindness for others is good for the human soul. And it also helps create a sense of cohesion, as people share in a sense of warmth and peace. Kindness has an additive effect and it’s really the little things that add up. So no matter how big or how small, each act of kindness makes an impact for us all.[13]

Notes & references[edit]

  1. ^ Wiktionary:kind#Adjective
  2. ^ loob, verb - intr. to act as a social lubricant; trans. to render smooth the motion or action of; slang to ply with drink. Oxford English Dictionary.
  3. ^ I know I said we should get rid of the "Wikipedia is War" conceptual metaphor - f.e rename "edit war" to "edit bore". Yup, I'm a hypocrite.
  4. ^ "yadda yadda yadda". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. 2014. Exclamation, North American • informal - Used to indicate that further details are predictable or contextually evident from what has preceded: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, yadda yadda yadda. Origin 1940s: imitative of meaningless chatter. 
  5. ^ Judah, Sam (3 October 2013). "Making Time: Can we teach kindness?". BBC News Magazine. BBC. 
  6. ^ Condon, Paul; Desbordes, Gaëlle; Miller, Willa B.; DeSteno, David (21 August 2013). "Meditation Increases Compassionate Responses to Suffering" (PDF). Psychological Science. doi:10.1177/0956797613485603. 
  7. ^ Rosenberg, RS; Baughman, SL; Bailenson, JN (30 January 2013). Szolnoki, Attila, ed. "Virtual Superheroes: Using Superpowers in Virtual Reality to Encourage Prosocial Behavior" (PDF). PLOS One. 
  8. ^ You mentioned the name Kitty Genovese above. Are you aware that that story isn't true? The Quixotic Potato (talk) 00:50, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
    That it's not completely true, I'm afrayed so. Worse, I didn't note that in my data dump. Corrected that with a footnote in your honor. Thanks again! ~~~
  9. ^ Slater, Mel; Rovira, Aitor; Southern, Richard; Swapp, David; Zhang, Jian J; Campbell, Claire; Levine, Mark (2 January 2013). "Bystander Responses to a Violent Incident in an Immersive Virtual Environment". PLOS One. 
  10. ^ Elias, Maurice (29 October 2012). "Can Kindness Be Taught?". edutopia: what works in education. The George Lucas Educational Foundation. 
  11. ^ Beland, Kathy; Gordon, Mary; Elias, Maurice; Levine, David A; Oakley, Barbara (3 October 2012). "Is It Too Late To Not Be a Jerk? A Discussion Of the Teachability Of Kindness". Zócalo Public Square. Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University. 
  12. ^ Carter, Christine (18 February 2010). "What We Get When We Give". Greater Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life. The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley. esp see Christine's references - LR 
  13. ^ Steinberg, Talya (20 November 2012). "Practicing Acts of Kindness: It's not just a bumper sticker". Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, LLC. 

Threaded discussion[edit]