What is that exactly and how can humans achieve it? It's pretty simple. Always take the high road for the low road can get very muddy. Moral elevation is that 'warm, uplifting feeling that people experience when they see unexpected acts of human goodness, kindness, courage, or compassion,.' Stories abound on the courage, compassion, and kindness of others. We simply need to look for them; for they are almost always buried underneath the dark and dank headlines for the day. When any of us experience moral elevation we have that desire to help others...human or animals...and become a better person (or frog) in the process.
So we know that moral elevation is the best way to narrow, then diminish the differences between humans. How does that happen? Here are three ways moral elevation makes a difference.
1. Moral elevation increases your sense of common humanity - and may decrease bias toward outgroups. "When people are prompted with stories of moral exemplars—people engaged in morally excellent behavior—their bias toward out-groups can go down. One study showed that people who experienced moral elevation after witnessing exemplars in action decreased their belief in a social hierarchy—where some groups are better than others—leading them to be more willing to donate to charities benefitting other social groups." Research suggests that this effect may extend beyond the groups specifically represents in the moral story. A review of research conducted on moral elevation shows that humans tend to have a more favorable view of humanity and to think better of others after they experience moral elevation.
2. Moral elevation induces you to want to help others. When humans experience moral elevation, it seems to inspire them to engage in moral behavior and to embrace having a more moral attitude toward others, in general. Witnessing or experiencing moral attitude seems to make humans want to engage in better behavior themselves, causing them to take a closer look at their own beliefs and actions. This mirroring effect causes humans to act kinder, inspire admiration for those who help, and even increase their own sense of gratitude.
3. People who tap into moral elevation more intensely may have a stronger moral identity. What this means is that the more you tap into your own more elevation, the more you can identify with that good moral behavior. Research tells us that this feeling of having a good moral compass then, in turn, causes them to act in ways that are kinder and more helpful. What is most interesting is that the effect of experiencing moral elevation appears to last well beyond that initial exposure. And it does have a cumulative effect.
"This suggests to me that we all could benefit from actively pursuing experiences of moral elevation, by seeking out (and sharing) stories of goodness that inspire us to be our best selves. Not only would that make us feel good, but it would also likely increase our sense of connection and generosity toward others, no matter their background, helping to bridge divides. And, given the current state of world politics, there may be nothing more important than finding ways to embrace our common humanity."
I couldn't agree more! Why not start work on building that bridge today. It can be as easy as giving someone a hug, especially if that person is someone you don't normally associate with. A smile, a kind word, lending a helping hand by opening a door; these are all small but significant signs of good moral elevation. For me, that means I am going to work on keeping bad news at bay, being kinder to others, and to be more understanding of those who may be different than myself.
I hope that if you've read a few of my blogs or follow me on Twitter, you know that my main goal is to promote positivity, while, at the same time, I try to educate and inspire people of all ages, races, and cultures.
Tomorrow is Friday and it's also a very special day for several reasons. I hope you'll come back for a fun Friday blog to get your weekend off to a good start. Until then, my dear reader, I wish you a wonderful day that's filled with
PEACE. (And I send each of you a big cyber hug!)