Stingy Brain, Generous Brain

What makes the difference between giving and holding back? It turns out generosity is a skill we can develop, and hard times play a big role.

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Researchers often find that after several weeks of compassion meditation practice, people perform more acts of kindness and caring outside the lab, such as visiting a retirement home or telling a coworker what they appreciate about her. They also report more feelings of compassion toward suffering people. They act more kindly toward strangers. They become less subject to the “bystander effect,” whereby everyone assumes that someone else will step up and come to the aid of a stranger in need. They more readily offer an exhausted woman a chair, as occurred in a 2015 study at Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. Good news, right?  (complete article)