They’re known for having the latest mobile phones, jumping on the latest social media trends and taking the best selfies, and now Gen Z is also known for being the most kind.
Yep, in Helga’s Kindness Index, developed by McCrindle, a first-of-its-kind report into kindness across Australia, Gen Z received the highest Kindness Index Score at 77, while the country as a whole scored 74.
The study, which surveyed 3520 Australians, also found that, on average, Aussies perform 16 acts of kindness a week, working out to be more than two a day, and that generosity and empathy were the top kindness virtues displayed.
Interestingly, it revealed that two-thirds of us often hold back from performing an act of kindness for a number of reasons, including not knowing how it will be received. If we were to be open to receiving that kindness and overcoming those barriers, we’d see an additional 2.37 billion acts of kindness given a year.
So, with that in mind, how can we go about being both more kind ourselves, as well as more open to kindness? Social researcher, author and kindness consultant Hugh Mackay lists three ways. Firstly, he says, “Don’t let ego and self-protection get in the way. Be kind, even if you don’t know how it will be received.”
Secondly, he says, “Practice more kindness. By doing this, you’ll be more alert to the kindness you’re receiving. When we have become kinder people ourselves, we’re responsive to the kindness of others and more likely to notice the kindness of others.”
And finally, “When reflecting on your day, ask yourself ‘Was I kind today?’”.
While practising these ways, however, Mackay says it’s important to keep in mind that you shouldn’t be looking for a response or reward.
“Don’t expect others to be kind to you because you’ve been kind to them,” he says.
“We’re being kind because that’s the way we’ve realised it’s best for humans to be and we’re here to make the world a better place — with showing kindness being the easiest way we can do it.”