Kindness – trendy again?

Talking about trends, we have seen many healthy and sustainable trends during the past years that have gone from “trends” to “lifestyle choices”, and we often refer to the generation called “G”.

Generation G consists of people who are environmentally conscious, love Mother Earth, want to stay “clean” inside and outside, and chose to live more consciously due to the many problems that the materialistic lifestyle has been bringing. Gen G is all about generosity, giving, compassion and sharing. A person who has made a decision in life – to make a difference! A person who makes active choices.

This has influenced many of us to search for ways to contribute and help and we really need to “do something” to compensate for the life we are living, through volunteering work or donating blood etc.  A few years ago, the buzzword “Random Act of Kindness” (R.A.K) got a lot of attention and was a huge trend for global marketers and brand consultants. Focusing a lot in digital marketing and social media this act of kindness have been integrated in many organizations and strategies, even if it has not the same attention today as back in 2011. Even though this way of taking action has a kind and great intention, it is also as a business strategy (which means earn more money.)

Kindess picBut as we live in an unsteady world, it often brings forward the true and instinctively good in people. A great example of this is Hannah Brencher (24) from New York that one day just decided to write a letter to a stranger on the train that looked miserable.  She continued to leave letters like that on the bus, the library, the café and so on all over New York City. One year and 400 letters later she started the organization “Write more love letters” that today have 20,000 individuals across 49 different countries leaving letters and writing emails to strangers in need.
The interesting part of this trend that starts to bloom again in 2013 is that it is spread in younger ages and at a personal stage in social media, which is in great need in the digital world that often is quite rough, honest and mean. It is again trendy to be kind, both to your friends, but also strangers on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

All these ideas, actions and efforts (like R.A.K) are truly lovely but sometimes they make me a bit confused. I believe kindness is a natural possession for all of us, a part of us as human beings.  To be exact, when someone does something kind towards another, the brain produces dopamine and endorphins, which make you happy.  Face-to-face kindness also produces oxytocin, which may lower the blood pressure ad stimulates the nervous system. This is natural. We live for love and happiness. Our vision at Raison d’Etre is to “Light lights” in everyone we meet or touch, and that is a great daily reminder for me to continue to spread love and kindness.

But, are we really so busy in our lives that we only have enough kindness to share with our chosen people? Either what we answer that question with; if kindness really needs systems and this kind of trendy actions and attention, so be it. If this is what it takes, so be it.

Ps. Have you ever written a love letter? It is absolutely magical.

/Josefin

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The”Non-Selection” Trend

Today the market has a wide selection of services and products since and many companies sales strategy is: pick yourself.  Your daily routines includes a never ending amount of choices, everything from choosing what kind of coffee to buy; to what kind of milk to what kind of cup.

Even if almost all people find the wide selection as something positive this is becoming a stress factor in the modern society. Instead of freedom of choice it becomes a loss of time. Even if you save 20 Euros when selecting mobile operator you feel the loss of the several hours you spent on making your decision. And when your choice is made, you still compare with your neighbor to find out if you made the right one and often you get disappointed anyway.

Many people find it time-consuming and tiresome to collect all info needed to make a wise decision. What happens is that we just pick something and not really base our choice on anything particular other than our guts. Daniel Kahneman describes this in “Thinking, fast and slow” as your automatic thinking (System 1) that makes you act fast but sometimes foolish. He describes our intelligence as not suited for the modern life full of selection and this unfortunately leads to many mistakes and unwise decisions based on intuition.

FrågaBut something is happening! The “non-selection” is starting to becom e a trend and since a couple of years ago services have shown up that helps you with your decision. Personal shoppers (not only for fashion, now also for food), all-inclusive hotels, sites such as Price runner is a respond to this phenomena. People want someone else to make their choices. But if the services offering “non-selection” just increases then the questions remains: who do we pick to choose for us? When do we still value the freedom of choice?

/Josefin