Ripples #1241: Engineering Kindness


If hurt people hurt people, does that mean loved people love people, too?
-Tiwa Faleti (6 years old), shared by Allison in St. Louis, MO


The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that hurt people hurt people, and kindness is just as contagious. So if you can focus your efforts on engineering kindness, it will prevail.
-Whitney Wolfe Herd, shared by Maureen in Gladstone, MO


I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of what comes off looking like hate is often a toxic combination of fear and ignorance. And a lot of what we experience as meanness is caused by tired, harried souls whose wells of compassion have dried up.

When I noticed I had not one but TWO quotes suggesting antidote to “hurt people hurt people,” I figured it was time to remind us all that there is more goodness in the world than we sometimes notice, and that each and every act of kindness helps heal the recipient, the giver, and even those who witness it.

It’s also true that some hate *is* hate, and I’m not suggesting we just tolerate people being mean to us. Instead, I’m talking about keeping our eyes and ears open for small opportunities to engineer kindness…cutting people slack when it feels right, taking the time and energy to extend small favors when you have a little extra bandwidth.

I’ve often found that putting a little love out in the world strengthens my belief that we live in a world with lots of love in it. Sometimes we have to look a little harder for it, and sometimes we need to work a little harder at spreading it.


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