A giving Heart by Rick Hanson

Cat yoga at my place

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Besides the absence of the bad, warmheartedness in action involves the presence of the good.

Many ethical principles are expressed through negation–for example, thou shalt not kill–but its also valuable to consider them in terms of affirmations.

For instance, you could explore how to give life, through planting trees or protecting children, or how to replace a harsh tone with encouragement and praise.

Generosity is rare in the animal kingdom, since in most species it lowers the odds of individual survival. But as our ancestors lived and evolved in small bands, altruism helped others with whom they shared genes.

And as our brain gradually grew larger—tripling in size over the past several million years–our ancestors became more able both to appreciate and reward one person’s giving, and to criticize and punish another persons freeloading.

This promoted positive cycles of social and moral evolution whose traces are now woven onto our DNA.

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