In a world where you can be anything, be kind | Sugar'n'Spice

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30th September 2020

In a world where you can be anything, be kind.

Sugar and Spice and all things nice…

What are little boys made of?  Ever heard of the nursery rhyme of the same title?  Dating from the early 19th century, the rhyme sometimes appears as part of a larger work called What Folks Are Made Of or What All the World Is Made Of.  

What are little boys made of?

What are little boys made of?

  Snips and snails

  And puppy-dogs' tails

That's what little boys are made of

What are little girls made of?

What are little girls made of?

  Sugar and spice

  And all things nice

That's what little girls are made of

If someone is described as being all sugar and spice, you mean that that person is behaving in a kind and friendly way.  Since the beginning of lockdown, we have witnessed a huge surge in internet sales, particularly with our cupcakes.  Along with this, we have also been asked to include heartfelt messages to friends, family and carers.  Not only has this made the receiver’s day, it has also helped to boost morale at SnS HQ, knowing that we are helping to facilitate these small acts of kindness.  The claim that “helping makes you happy” has become a staple of pop psychology and self-help manuals.  It has long been lauded that performing random acts of kindness is a sure-fire way of boosting your mood.  A collaborative study between Oxford and Bournemouth Universities concluded that being kind to others causes a small but significant improvement in subjective well-being.  Doing good makes you feel good, as well as benefiting others.  In addition, it was noted that existing research does not distinguish between kindness to family and friends versus strangers and, taking this into account, targeted kindness rather than indiscriminate kindness may have an even greater effect on happiness. 

Study lead author Dr Oliver Scott Curry, from the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Oxford, concludes, “Humans are social animals. We are happy to help family, friends, colleagues, community members and even strangers under some conditions. This research suggests that people do indeed derive satisfaction from helping others. This is probably because we genuinely care about others' welfare, and because random acts of kindness are a good way of making new friends and kick-starting supportive social relationships.” 

It’s a brave new world out there. Be patient. Be kind.

The full paper, 'Happy to Help? A review of the causes and consequences of kindness', is available to view here: https://osf.io/ytj5s