It is a good thing before having the toddler in my life, I spent time in the gym learning to squat. I find that I use the kettle bell squatting form in picking her up. Bend the knees down such my thighs are parallel to the ground, pull her into my chest, and push up with the legs. The goal is to keep the back straight and carry the load of the kid vertically along the spine as it was designed. Pulling the spine horizontally will cause back pain. Kettle bells do not squirm.
Of course, the day after Leg Day, it is silent pain to pick her up.
And, being older, I ought to make sure to protect my back.
Turns out, kindness is complicated. We’re born with the wiring for both kindness and cruelty, so altruism is not inevitable. It’s a skill and a habit that we have the power — and responsibility — to foster, one good deed at a time.
I love the concept of mirror neurons. When watching someone else do something, the parts of our brain for doing that activity light up as though we are doing it. One of the reasons why I enjoy watching sports that I have played, especially the players of positions, is because I feel it when they make a play. They also have a dark side, in that when others experience pain, our brain experiences it as well.
My first experience with seeing early empathetic distress was in helping my aunt babysit twins. When one would cry, the other hearing the cry would also start to cry. Nothing was wrong. At the time, we chalked it up to attention seeking, but I bet really it was empathetic distress. Hearing the the cry bad made the other feel bad and crying was the way to express it.
Kindness is not just about feeling bad about another’s distress, but doing something to resolve it. Fleur likes to take my glasses. Unfortunately, I have turned it into a kind of game. Lately, I have had to shift my reaction to expressing sadness about it. She is much faster about giving them back when I do. Wonder if that would work for the throwing food thing?