Trending Articles of the Week

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Mar 012018
 

Flagstaff Aspen RainbowPower Causes Brain Damage
You know the old saying, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”? This is a fascinating article about how leaders lose mental capacities, most notably for reading other people, that were essential to their rise. As they become powerful, those abilities are no longer necessary. This isn’t just theory, it’s been observed and measured.

Creative Mess, Creative Clutter
Many years ago, I read that clutter gives rise to creativity, because creativity is actually creating something out of chaos. Now there’s some evidence to back that up. This article cites a study that ideas that emerge in a cluttered room are more innovative than those in a tidy one.

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think
This article cites various studies that are showing that silence may actually grow our brains by adding new cells. Quiet also allows you to process information more fully. Silence reduces stress and improves cognition, among other things.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Compassion For The Less Fortunate Promotes Success And Happiness

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Feb 132012
 

Some positive thinking philosophies tell you to avoid charitable works and those who are poverty stricken. The theory is that you might get sucked into their consciousness, and lose your empowered viewpoint. That you could become sympathetic and then part of the problem. Or that you wouldn’t hold the “needy” as powerful enough to heal their wounds or overcome their problems. Somehow, leaving them to their own devices is supposed to empower them to “pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.”

However, I’ve observed people who follow this idea tend to become judgmental and contemptuous about those who are less fortunate. This doesn’t fulfill the spirit of the ideal. Instead, it creates a callousness that negatively impacts their character and undermines the positive attitude that they mean to cultivate. It tends to breed a sense of arrogance and superiority.

Insulating yourself from others’ suffering may mean that you don’t get the opportunity to develop compassion. In a recent study, those who are in the lower socio-economic classes are more responsive to suffering and more compassionate than those in the more affluent class.

The UC Berkeley researchers conjecture that the upper classes aren’t “coldhearted,” it’s just that they haven’t had to deal with the challenges the lower classes have. Therefore, their theory is that the upper classes don’t recognize the distress expressed by people.

Becoming aware of when others are experiencing distress, suffering and anxiety is the first step to becoming more compassionate. With compassion, you can be aware of others’ emotions without getting drawn into the problem. You can then choose a response that can best support and empower the sufferer.

Emotional Intelligence, which has been called more important than I.Q., is the ability to perceive and label yours and others’ emotions. It’s said that this skill is necessary for you to fulfill your full potential in your personal and professional life. So it’s even good for your success in life to be more aware of how other people are feeling.

Compassion opens the heart, reduces stress, promotes success and encourages happiness. Being concerned about the well being of others improves your own.

Inspired by the article: Lower Classes Quicker to Show Compassion in the Face of Suffering

~ Linda-Ann Stewart