What is it that defines a kind culture? A good question and one that need to be asked. I’ve read a book written by Robert Kaplan and this is his definition of a kind culture: “A kind culture is characterized by two attributes: low rates of violence and high rates of trust.” Indeed, I’d say that this is quite accurate as we seem to have become a violent society and trust in most people has declined, particularly in large cities. The question then, how can we create a kind culture where trust is high? I believe it comes down to creating a kind of a mindset that places the safety and security above all else, and I’d like to talk about what it means to be a kind person in this regard.
Now then, I’d like to define what it means to be kind, and this will also help to define a kind culture as well. To be kind to others means to show them respect, caring and empathy for what they have or don’t have, and to value all human life, even those who seem to have nothing much going for them. And to have this kind of mindset is something that I believe all humans have, and to the extent that the mentality is not internalized and embraced by the culture it doesn’t matter, because eventually it will seep out and infect all humans – it’s that simple. So it’s important to cultivate a kind mindset.
Now then, a kind culture will have high moral standards and a low tolerance for people who are morally irresponsible. This also includes a kind sex-focused outlook on sexuality and an overall rejection of sexuality in favor of a more puritanical approach to life. Also, a kind culture tends to view things in a very utilitarian manner, looking to the good of the individual and what will benefit the greater whole. It tends to be very focused on the here and now, and things in the present period, and things that will happen in the future. People who live in a kind culture also tend to value work as being the key to societal success and their own personal success, and so a kind person tends to value themselves by the pay that they get and how their work matters in the wider scheme of things.
A kind culture creates self-discipline in its citizens. People who live in a kind environment tend to be disciplined in all areas of their lives. The reason that this works is because the kind people know that they need to make choices and follow up on those choices, and that these choices will have long-lasting consequences. They also know that the end result of making bad choices in the here and now won’t just be lost, but will be remembered and will shape the future. It is a kind culture that make people work hard and produces winners.
But a kind culture also has its downsides. First, because the kind people aren’t too trusting of each other, and so there’s a certain kind of social isolation that occurs when you’re part of that kind of group. Also, the kind of logic that the kind people use in their arguments means that they have to come at the other person with their point of view, and there’s not much room for questioning or thoughtful dialogue.
A kind culture can lead to cronyism. A kind culture can lead to the silencing of opposition. This is because the kind people are not very open about their true feelings and are not very polite. If they were, they’d be out in the streets singing and dancing and making a revolution.