Learn about the feeling of ‘elevation’ and why you might be moved to tears and benevolence by witnessing acts of kindness.
Have you ever been moved to tears by acts of kindness? This happens to me all the time and I’ve often wondered about it.
I recently read an article by Daniel Burke, CNN Religion Editor, where he wrote about tearing up at watching the Pope’s kindness. He wrote: “I was surprised to find my eyes tearing, accompanied by a short burst of benevolence. I felt a brief urge to hug everyone in the room. (I am not a hugger.)
“Covering my tears’ tracks, I turned to a colleague. He was emotional, too.”
Burke wondered why this occurs. He discovered that it is quite common and is even contagious. Some psychologists have called this emotion “elevation.” This feeling not only can move us to tears, it can also move us toward caring acts with others, because it creates a feeling of oneness with others.
This is Very Good News!
This is good news because the more we feel a sense of oneness with each other, the less we will act out in ways that hurt each other. So many of our societal problems would be solved if more people felt a sense of oneness with others — regardless of race, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity.
I have a Facebook group called “Loving Action Revolution,” and frequently members put up videos of beautiful acts of kindness, which have gone viral. Perhaps the reason they go viral is that we are hungry for the kinds of feelings we get when we feel “elevated.” Invariably I’m moved to tears by these videos, as well as by the stories of kindness that people offer in this group.
They also offer videos of the kindness of animals toward each other, such as a dog mothering a kitten, or a loving relationship between a dog and a deer. I often think, “Are they smarter than we are?” They don’t seem to care whether they are of different colours and different breeds. They show love no matter whether the coat is black or white or multi-coloured. Why do some people judge people by the colour of their skin rather than remembering that, on the soul level, we are all one?
We all could benefit from seeing more examples of the acts of kindness that move us to the feeling of elevation and oneness with others. What if a major cable TV station showed nothing but inspiring acts of kindness? Certainly, one or more of the billionaires on our planet could create this station and with enough exposure, we could be experiencing elevation any time we turned on the channel, stimulating our sense of oneness and benevolence toward others and a desire to offer more acts of kindness.
Inspiring Love in Others
One of the ways we can each help our planet is to follow the role modelling of the Pope and offer kindness whenever we can. Just because we are not the Pope doesn’t mean that our kindness isn’t appreciated and isn’t contagious, regarding the feelings it generates in others. Research indicates that even smiles are contagious.
What if each of us focused throughout our day on offering kindness to ourselves and to others, rather than protecting against pain with our controlling, unloving behavior? Can you imagine how much good each of us can do by focusing on kindness? What if the ‘burst of benevolence’ that Daniel Burke felt was magnified millions of times over on our planet, from our individual acts of kindness?
I would love this. Wouldn’t you?