What Is The Kindest Thing Someone Has Done For You?

The political discourse in the United States — and really, at many places all over the world — has gotten to be very negative. In times like this, to avoid becoming too depressed, it is important to remember the kindness that has been shown to you.

People can be kind in small ways or in large. Little things can help make your day a little better. And, of course, great acts of kindness can change the course of your entire life.

What is the kindest thing someone has done for you? How did you repay that kindness? What is the kindest thing you have done for someone else?

Related questions: What are our responsibilities to others?  What does it mean to be thankful? What makes a community? How can we appreciate life more?

What Makes A Good Friend?

Friendship is something that everyone deals with. Even if you don’t have many — or any — friends, you probably have a pretty good idea of what you look for in a friend, even if only subconsciously.

There are many characteristics that someone might have in order to be considered a friend. Loyalty, perhaps. Being a good listener. Fun, thoughtful, networked, outgoing, goofy, shared interests, shared experiences, smart, a good conversationalist.

Of all the possible traits that a friend might have, which one is most important to you?

What makes a good friend?

To help uncover what’s important to you regarding friendship, think about these questions:

  • If you think about the close friends you have, is there some trait that they have in common?
  • What, if anything, does what you look for in a friend have to do with your experiences and your past?
  • If you’ve had a friendship come to an end, was there something lacking that caused it to fail?

Related questions: Why do we care what strangers think of us? What makes a community? Who is the most important person in your life? Who inspires you?

What Makes Us Comment On Social Media?

My proposed question is: What makes us comment on social media?

When we see a post on Facebook or other social media, why do we comment? Is it usually a visceral reaction? What makes us hold back from sharing our thoughts?

Many times I have spent 2-10 minutes crafting a response to something to ultimately decide not to post it. Sometimes it’s because I think my comment is controversial and I don’t want to offend anyone. I also don’t want to track the comment and follow up on others responses. Sometimes it’s because I don’t know the person well enough and suddenly feel it is not my place to contribute.

Often, on Intellectual Roundtable, I feel my desired responses are actually just more questions without conclusions so I don’t think I should share those. I also feel the void when I put something out into the world and no one responds. When participating in conversations in person, with strangers or friends, I am much more likely to voice my thoughts because I know I am likely to get a response.

Since I wrote this I’m going to submit it, but I oddly thought at the very end here I should delete the whole question. It feels really obvious and suddenly not like an intellectual question at all but just a way to feed the ego.

Perhaps this is why I don’t post many personal things on social media! 🙂

Related questions: What do you get out of social media? What social media platforms do you use? Why do we care what strangers think of us? How can we build confidence?

Why Do We Hate?

The Internet brings out the worst in some people. There seems to be an increased level of hate that is spread online, from vicious comments, to cyber-bullying, to harassment.

While the Internet is making it easy for people to give voice to their hatred, the negative emotion is not new. It has existed from the dawn of humanity.

In the real world, we see it across the globe. Wars rage on. Oppression of a group, whether it is ethnic, religious, or racial, is rampant.

But why should hatred be as common as it is? Much of the world’s population follows some religion, and most religions preach love. But people who claim they are religious can be — and sometimes are —  filled with hate.

“Hate” is a strong word, indicating a strong emotion. As with any strong emotion, thinking about and discussing it can be difficult. Have you ever hated someone or something? If so, what triggered it?

Of course, it is possible to experience hatred without realizing it. What you recognize as hatred in someone else they might deny or call a different emotion or expression. And the same is true in reverse: what you think is acceptable behavior, someone else might call hate.

Hate makes us behave in unpredictable or irrational ways, and it can cause a person to behave very cruelly to another. It would behoove us to love more and hate less in all aspects of our life. A good way to start is to understand what the roots are of this destructive emotion.

Why do we hate? And how can we stop?

Related questions: Why do we like what we like? How does your vocabulary influence how you think? What do you do that you shouldn’t? How can we encourage debate? What words have the most power?