What is cognitive kindness? Is it an approach we adopt over time — or is it an intrinsic part of being human? Longtime cognitive science researcher, Ileana Berman explains:
Cognitive kindness is both internal and external. But in Ileana Berman’s perception, the practice arguably starts from within. Cognitive kindness is, in simple terms, generosity with our minds at the center of the concept. It starts within our own minds; a conscious decision to be kind to ourselves and think positively about who we are and what we do. It is the process of valuing our cognitive abilities.
Dr. Ileana Berman sees cognitive kindness as going a step further than living within our minds. It’s a collective experience, which one chooses to either embrace or neglect. When we are kind to others, we are generally better received by those around us. This, in effect, affords us the opportunity to ‘do good’ in the world by positively impacting others and their own cognitive kindness. We pass this kindness on, by valuing our ideas, putting those ideas into action and, in turn, valuing the ideas presented by others.
Are we all in possession of cognitive kindness? Ileana Berman believes that we all have the capacity to be kind in this way. Empowering ourselves and those around us by embracing and encouraging ideas can only be beneficial. So why not embrace that intrinsically human desire to be kind?