If you think that being kind means being naive, you are mistaken! Experts say that kindness is one of the main attributes of intelligence.
In other words, kind people are the smartest.
Neuroscientist Richard Davidson says: “Kindness is the foundation of a healthy brain.” He explains that kindness requires the ability to think not only about oneself, but also about others. In the end, intelligence is defined as “the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.”
That is, to be smart does not just mean remembering random facts, but finding application to your knowledge in everyday life.
One does not need a lot of intelligence to be selfish, angry and feel contempt for others. Doing whatever you want without thinking about the consequences for others is simple. Even bacteria and viruses that don’t have any brain do this: they multiply when they want, even if it kills their carrier.
Good people are often associated with good deeds at the expense of their self-sacrifice. They spend their time, money and resources to give others what they need. They are able to think and realize that good deeds improve the whole world rather than just their small nook.
Davidson is not the only expert who claims that good people are smarter. Numerous studies have concluded that an average evil person has lower intelligence.
For example, one Canadian study found that the people exposed to racism and prejudice had lower IQ than more tolerant ones. Although this study was originally conceived as a study of the causes of political views, these results shed light on both aspects of the issue.
The fact is that proneness to racism and prejudice is often dictated by the inability to adapt to change, and this is another sign of low intelligence. Stephen Hawking is often credited with saying: “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” In fact, this quote has been known since at least 1905, but that is not the point; the main thing is that it is true.
And this is quite logical. The ability to accept change requires mental effort.
First, you need to understand why change is necessary. Then we must abandon the outdated ideas about the world. It is very difficult for even the smartest.
Finally, we must realize that no matter how scared we are by changes, they make our life — and the whole world around us — a little better. The fear of change is perfectly normal – this is not a sign of “dullness.” The fear of the unknown is in our genes. It is the ability to accept the necessary changes that helps differentiate the smart from the stupid.
To be fair, it is worth noting that a few studies have revealed some of the least attractive features in people with extremely high IQ. Such people are more self-confident and fail to notice their own shortcomings. This, of course, is difficult to relate to kindness.
However, IQ is not the only and far from the best indicator of true intelligence. More and more scientists are inclined to believe that there are three types of intelligence, including social and emotional.
Empathy is an important component of emotional intelligence. It is so important that Danish schools even teach it along with math and reading. Children are taught to be kinder and more compassionate for an hour a week.
That is quite clear. After all, empathy is primarily the ability to understand other people’s feelings. To understand the feelings of another person, a much more developed mind is required than the one that is able to remember facts and reproduce them when needed.
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. Some people with high IQs are not kind, and some people with low IQs have a rare ability for compassion.
But nevertheless, intelligence is not merely a combination of indicators in the test. Kindness, respect for other people’s feelings and the ability to adjust to changes, even when they scare you, are the true indicators of an outstanding mind.
Don’t you think so?