This quiz is backed by science and will reveal your kindness profile.
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Considering how much discord we see on a daily basis, it might be hard to believe that humans are inherently compassionate creatures.

Of course we have self-centered inclinations, but if you look at human nature before it’s impacted by the outside world, you’ll see that our impulse is often to be altruistic.

Back in 2006, the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany studied infants to see what they would do when they were confronted with adults who needed help completing basic tasks. In almost every instance, the infants would offer what assistance they could to the struggling adults. For example, if the adult dropped a clothespin when hanging clothes on a line, the infant would almost always pick it up and hand it back to them.


Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem/Unsplash

This helpful behavior can also be seen in young chimpanzees, but not nearly as readily or as consistently as in human babies. This suggests that altruism is a more human trait.

But it’s not just a cool part of being human – our inclination to be kind and selfless often benefits us directly in return.

And that’s not only according to one little study — evidence of the mental and physical benefits of altruism have been seen across a wide spectrum of scientific disciplines. Take it from science educator and creator of the PBS series BrainCraft, Vanessa Hill.

“I was always fascinated with why people act the way that they do,” says Hill.

Before becoming a science show host, Hill studied psychology and biology at the University of South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and worked in science education and outreach at Australia’s national science agency.

She decided to start making her own science education videos because she wanted to help a wider audience “understand things about themselves that they never realized before.” Her mission dovetailed nicely with PBS, so they worked together to create BrainCraft, which is now in its fourth season.

Photo via Vanessa Hill. Used with permission.

Having done her own deep dive into the science of altruism, Hill found that we actually have a system built into our brain that recognizes when we do something selfless.

“Neuroscientists have identified circuits in the brain that underlie altruistic behavior,” she explains. “When we’re kind, we have a brain circuitry that rewards that.”

So the more we perform altruistic acts, the more often we get a boost of happiness — or oxytocin as scientists might call it —and the better we feel in both mind and body.

Sounds pretty great, right?

What’s more, kids will likely stick with kind behavior if it’s encouraged from an early age. However, their unique personalities will dictate how it manifests in them.

Believe it or not, there are actually several different types of altruism that humans exhibit.

There’s pure altruism, which is giving solely for the benefit of others without expecting anything in return. There’s pseudo-altruism, which is giving with the expectation of getting something back (even if you’re not doing it consciously). There’s egoism, which is doing good things for yourself (like self-care). And there’s nurturing altruism, which means doing kind things with the goal of inspiring others to pay it forward.

Think you know which type you are? Take our sweetness quiz to find out!

Courtesy of Macy's

Brantley and his snowman

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"Would you like to build a snowman?" If you asked five-year-old Brantley from Texas this question, the answer would be a resounding "Yes!" While it may sound like a simple dream, since Texas doesn't usually see much snow, it seemed like a lofty one for him, even more so because Brantley has a congenital heart disease.

On Dec. 11, 2019, however, the real Macy's Santa and his two elves teamed up with Make-A-Wish to surprise Brantley and his family on his way to Colorado where there was plenty of snow for him to build his very own snowman, fulfilling his wish as part of the Macy's Believe campaign. After a joy-filled plane ride where every passenger got gift bags from Macy's, the family arrived in Breckenridge, Colorado where Santa and his elves helped Brantley build a snowman.

Brantley, Brantley's mom, and Santa marveling at their snowmanAll photos courtesy of Macy's

Brantley, who according to his mom had never actually seen snow, was blown away by the experience.

"Well, I had to build a snowman because snowmen are my favorite," Brantley said in an interview with Summit Daily. "All of it was my favorite part."

This is just one example of the more than 330,000 wishes the nonprofit Make-A-Wish have fulfilled to bring joy to children fighting critical illnesses since its founding 40 years ago. Even though many of the children that Make-A-Wish grants wishes for manage or overcome their illnesses, they often face months, if not years of doctor's visits, hospital stays and uncomfortable treatments. The nonprofit helps these children and their families replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope.

It's hardly an outlandish notion — research shows that a wish come true can help increase these children's resiliency and improve their quality of life. Brantley is a prime example.

"This couldn't have come at a better time because we see all the hardships that we went through last year," Brantley's mom Brandi told Summit Daily.

Brantley playing with snowballs

Now more than ever, kids with critical illnesses need hope. Since they're particularly vulnerable to disease, they and their families have had to isolate even more during the pandemic and avoid the people they love most and many of the activities that recharge them. That's why Make-A-Wish is doing everything it can to fulfill wishes in spite of the unprecedented obstacles.

That's where you come in. Macy's has raised over $132 million for Make-A-Wish, and helped grant more than 15,500 wishes since their partnership began in 2003, but they couldn't have done that without the support of everyday people. The crux of that support comes from Macy's Believe Campaign — the longstanding holiday fundraising effort where for every letter to Santa that's written online at Macys.com or dropped off safely at the red Believe mailbox at their stores, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. New this year, National Believe Day will be expanded to National Believe Week and will provide customers the opportunity to double their donations ($2 per letter, up to an additional $1 million) for a full week from Sunday, Nov. 29 through Saturday, Dec. 5.

There are more ways to support Make-A-Wish besides letter-writing too. If you purchase a $4 Believe bracelet, $2 of each bracelet will be donated to Make-A-Wish through Dec. 31. And for families who are all about the holiday PJs, on Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1), 20 percent of the purchase price of select family pajamas will benefit Make-A-Wish.

Elizabeth living out her wish of being a fashion designer

Additionally, this year's campaign features 6-year-old Elizabeth, a Make-A-Wish child diagnosed with leukemia, whose wish to design a dress recently came true. Thanks to the style experts at Macy's Fashion Office and I.N.C. International Concepts, only at Macy's, Elizabeth had the opportunity to design a colorful floral maxi dress. Elizabeth's exclusive design is now available online at Macys.com and in select Macy's stores. In the spirit of giving back this holiday season, 20 percent of the purchase price of Elizabeth's dress (through Dec. 31) will benefit Make-A-Wish.You can also donate directly to Make-A-Wish via Macy's website.

This holiday season may be a tough one this year, but you can bring joy to children fighting critical illnesses by delivering hope for their wishes to come true.

via 1POCNews / Twitter

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