Born to be kind

“My religion is Kindness” HH The Dalai Lama You’ve probably heard of ‘The Selfish Gene’. Many have mistakenly taken this to mean than humans are naturally selfish. That’s not what the term ‘selfish gene’ refers to. Selfish gene really refers to the process of evolution where genes are copied and passed onto the next generation. […]

Molecules of Kindness

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” Aesop A molecule is a useful collection of atoms. I used to be an organic chemist so I made molecules every day. Even if you don’t know exactly what a molecule is, I’ll bet you’re familiar with many popular ones. Serotonin is a molecule […]

The power of a hug

A hug is wonderful when you feel sad, stressed, tired and even when you feel good. I love what the Free Hugs people do when they stand in a city centre holding a ‘Free Hugs’ sign. Their hugs produce human connection, vulnerability, smiles, laughter, positive emotion, and even sometimes tears, especially if it’s the first […]

Helper’s High

The term ‘Helper’s High’ was first coined by Allan Luks, in his book, ‘The Healing Power of Doing Good’. You’re probably familiar with the high. It’s that good feeling we get when we do something kind for someone or an animal. There are loads of ways we can help each other. Giving time to someone […]

6 fascinating facts about the love hormone… and what that means for you

I’ve written quite a lot about oxytocin, which also goes by the name of ‘love hormone’, ‘cuddle chemical’, ‘molecule of kindness’, or any other affectionate term that implies something about bonding and connecting. If you ever wondered about those names, it’s because we produce oxytocin when we’re feeling love or connection (with a human, animal, […]

The 3-Degree Ripple Rule

You probably know that when you do a kind act, the impact goes farther than the person whom you have helped. But I suspect you hadn’t considered that each simple act of kindness you do might actually be affecting around 16 people. So how do I come up with that number? Well, it’s based research […]

The 5 Side-Effects of Compassion

As an ex-pharmaceutical scientist, I enjoy reframing the term ‘side-effects’. We typically think of side-effects in the negative, as in the side-effects of drugs. But many of our positive behaviors also have side-effects. Below are 5 side-effects of compassion. 1) Compassion Wires the Brain In some ways we can think of the brain like a […]

Wired for Kindness

I was having a conversation recently with someone in business who told me he heard that humans are naturally selfish. He asked my opinion on the subject. I disagreed and explained why I believe we are, in fact, genetically wired to be kind. Genetic wiring (our genome) is shaped over millions of years as humans […]