Kindness expert on the ugly truth about apathy in 2020–Gabriella van Rij reveals a timely solution

Industry: Self Help

Is apathy on the rise? Gabriella van Rij, kindness expert and founder of #DaretoBeKind, points toward an unconventional solution in her new book, Kindness Is A Choice.

Davenport, Iowa (PRUnderground) January 21st, 2020

The refugee crises in the Middle East over the last decade saw over 70 million people displaced by war. The UN refugee agency reports, “25 million of [of whom] are refugees, having fled across international borders and unable to return to their homes.” And in 2018 alone, more than 17.2 million people worldwide fled from natural disasters and environmental degradation.

When faced with incomprehensibly large statistics in the news, many psychologists believe society withdraws their focus and ignores mass atrocities in what they refer to as psychic numbing. However, if increased exposure to devastating news leads to apathy and not action, what’s the solution?

The founder of the #DareToBeKind Movement, Gabriella van Rij, in her recently published book, Kindness Is A Choice, addresses meeting the humanitarian challenges of the next decade from an unconventional premise. “Taking ownership of our actions and reactions is the first step to a safer world for all of us.”

Known as “the kindness expert,” van Rij answers the question, “What happens in society when Kindness is at a deficit?” by drawing from experience that includes being an orphan in Pakistan, facing racism in Europe with her adoptive family, and surviving hate after 9/11 due to her ethnicity, she highlights the role Kindness plays in dealing with the societal, humanitarian, and environmental challenges that face humanity in the twenty-first century.

Is society doomed to apathy?

“People care. But we pretend not to care because we would have to make an effort. We do not want to connect the dots. But when we care, it is impossible to do things on automatic pilot because we become aware of our surroundings.”

Compassion, she believes, is like a muscle. Use it and it grows. “It’s easy to blame and point fingers. But blame is not the cure, action is.” The first step toward action is uprooting apathy.

About Gabriella van Rij

Gabriella van Rij [pronounced “Ray”] is the Kindness Expert, a keynote speaker, a 4-time author, the founder of the #DaretobeKind Movement, and the executive producer of Our Silence Is Complicity, a documentary on the devastating effects of bullying.

Her latest book, Kindness Is A Choice, is a down-to-earth guide on why Kindness is underutilized today, how the lack of it affects every sphere of our lives, and what we stand to gain by choosing Kindness at every opportunity. She has been seen by millions on Dr. Phil, ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX. She also writes for the NY Daily News.

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