Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes about spirituality as well as many other topics.
Some people doubt that there is a kindness gene. Researchers say some people can be caring, loving, and trustworthy because it is in their DNA. On the other hand, unkind people don't have the kindness gene or much of it in their DNA. Do you think it is in your DNA to be kind or unkind?
Some People Can't Help From Being Unkind
Studies show that It is possible that some people are not kind because they can't help it. Studies also show that some people are kind because it is their nature to be kind.
Research proved that some people are naturally kind because their bodies have a receptor gene called oxytocin. Oxytocin is that "feel good' gene where the brain releases hormones when people show care, compassion, empathy, and kindness.
Scientists and researchers are convinced that kindness can be in our genes. According to several studies conducted in the past, kindness has a lot to do with our genetic component. In other words, kindness might and might not come naturally to some people based on their genetics.
Even though the kindness gene is in some people's DNA, they still have a choice to be kind or unkind. That's because DNA is just one factor that prompts individuals to treat others a certain way. Environmental, cultural, and social factors also contribute to how kind a person is.
A genotype is a set of genes that is passed down from parents to their children. The kindness gene is so powerful it can be detected by strangers in 20 seconds. The kindness gene is evident in three genotypes.
- GG: People with the GG gene are the kindest. They are caring and tend to be more sociable. They are more trusting and loving.
- AG: People with the AG gene are moderately empathetic. They are kind just some of the time to some but not all people.
- AA: People with this gene are the least empathetic of all the three genotypes. They are the least caring and the least compassionate. People who have an AA genotype are unkind more than they are kind.
If you feel uncomfortable almost every time you are around a certain person, then perhaps you are around someone who just can't be kind because his kindness gene is AA or AG instead of being GG.
How to Tell if Someone Has the Kindness Gene
More research needs to be done in order to be absolutely sure if a person has the kindness gene or not, but there are some ways to detect if there is a kindness gene in others and yourself.
- A doctor can tell if you have a kindness gene by testing a sample of your saliva.
- You can tell if a person is kind if he listens attentively without interrupting, nodding as you talk, and leaning in when you are talking to him.
- Dogs can detect whether someone is kind or not. They show no sign of affection to unkind people.
- Babies cry in the arms of an unkind person, but they smile and relax in the arms of a kind and caring person.
- People with the kindness gene will treat others with love and respect.
Kindness is a behavior that is evidenced by acts of generosity, consideration, and concern for others, without a motive for praise or reward. Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, KINDNESS, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV)
Health Benefits of Being Kind
Research shows that being kind is good for your health. The University of California researchers released a study showing that it is beneficial to be kind for the following reasons:
- Kindness produces oxytocin that helps to lower blood pressure and improves overall heart-health. It may cause people to have fewer colds and lower blood pressure. Oxytocin increases self-esteem and optimism and is very helpful to release anxiety and nervousness, according to The New York Times.
- People who have been in kindness studies say they are stronger and more energetic when they help others and are kind to them. They also reported they feel calmer and less depressed as well as having an increased feeling of self-worth, according to the UC Berkeley, Greater Good Science Center.
- A study done by the Harvard Business School found that 136 countries found that people who show kindness and generosity to charitable donations were happy.
- People who are kind enough to volunteer often experience fewer aches and pains in their bodies and have a lower risk of heart disease. They usually have better physical health, according to Christine Carter, Author of Raising Happiness; In Pursuit of Joyful Kids and Happier Parents.
- According to research from Emory University, kind people receive more pleasure than unkind people. That's because the brain’s pleasure and reward centers light up as if there were the recipient of the good deed instead of the giver of it. That phenomenon is called the “helper’s high.”
- Kindness stimulates the production of serotonin in the body that makes people feel good. The chemical in the brain has a calming effect and makes people happy, according to Talya Steinberg, Psy.D for Psychology Today. Therefore, if you want to be happy, then be kind.
How to Show Kindness
According to Kindness.org, "every kind act matters." Everybody can be kind by doing something. It doesn't always have to be something big. Kindness shows up when people do little things. According to the organization, we can:
- Promote others more than yourself.
- Bless others instead of cursing them.
- Forgive instead of harboring bitterness.
- Show more love and less hate.
- Encourage others.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Jo Miller from Tennessee on December 04, 2020:
Very interesting article. Never heard of a kindness gene.