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Want Happiness? Practice Kindness

09 Nov 2010 | Psychology Today

My kids are super happy!" a parent recently declared to me. Her kids did seem joyful, often delighted. But they didn't strike me as particularly nice people. Perhaps it was because one had just called my daughter an idiot, and was, at that moment, happily plotting to exclude her from a game. "Great!" I replied. "Are they also kind?"

I question whether or not we can be truly, lastingly happy--whether we can really lead meaningful, joyful lives--if we are not also kind, generous, compassionate. 

I tend to believe His Holiness the Dalai Lama: "If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." For those of you who don't buy the Buddhist reasoning, there is also a lot of scientific evidence that happiness and kindness are deeply intertwined.

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