50 Times People Had Each Other’s Backs Online In The Most Wholesome Way (New Pics)
The holiday season is in full swing, and we feel like it’s the best time of the year to remember how wholesome, kind, supportive, welcoming, and selfless people can truly be, despite their perceived differences. That’s why we’re featuring the ‘Gates Open, Come On In’ subreddit, an online community of nearly 340k people today.
The online group presents itself as the exact opposite of r/gatekeeping and features folks being true legends who accept others no matter who they are, instead of angry gremlins who don’t want to let anyone new into their communities. Scroll down for some of the best anti-gatekeeping posts and hard proof that people really do have each others’ backs when push comes to shove.
Pssst, Pandas, if you’re looking to restore some more faith in humanity, then you’ll definitely want to check out Bored Panda’s previous article about some more great real-life anti-gatekeeping examples. You can read it right here.
British psychotherapist Silva Neves shared with Bored Panda his take on why some people feel the need to act as gatekeepers at all. "The theory is that it comes from our inner sense of survival. At times when we lived in tribes, it was part of survival to fear people outside of the tribe because they might have been a threat to the tribe," he explained to me. "In our modern world, to some extent, we have kept that sense of survival, although unnecessary now, but still subconsciously strong."
However, Silva notes just how much impact even small gestures of kindness can have. "When we learn to be kind to others, we're actually learning to be kind to ourselves. We need both." Scroll down for to read what he had to say about this.
"We don't often realize that a very small gesture of kindness, even just a smile to a stranger, can trigger a chain of kindness and love to their social circle, and the ripple effects can be felt to the greater society," psychotherapist Silva shared with Bored Panda the power that even a small act of kindness can have in the world around us. In fact, we're naturally hard-wired to help others.
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"Being kind and helpful is a natural high for us, as it produced feel-good brain chemicals, so it tends to make us happier. Seeing others happy can also produce feel-good chemicals. So it is all round a very good thing for physical and mental health to be kind to ourselves and others," he said.
"If we do that, we tend to live happier lives and, even if we don't always see it, it is important to remind ourselves that any small gesture of kindness contributes to a kinder world. And, right now, the world needs a lot more kindness."
‘Action for Happiness’ explained to me earlier that altruism and kindness are closely linked to our own happiness.
"Think about how you can reach out and do things for others, help a neighbor or volunteer for a cause, we get happiness high from helping other people. Or start small and simply list three things that you can be grateful for each night before bed,” Sarah Vero from ‘Action for Happiness’ shared with Bored Panda.
According to Sarah, the 10 keys to happier living are: “Giving, relating, exercising, awareness, trying out, direction, resilience, emotions, acceptance, and meaning. We are likely to be happier if our lives have direction, meaning, and purpose and if we are part of something bigger than ourselves.”
Vanessa King, the Head of Psychology at ‘Action for Happiness,’ noted that we’re a social species and that helping others out is part of who we are. Being kind, lending a helping hand are the “social glue that keeps us together.”
“When we do things for others it activates the reward center in the brain, so when we give a gift it feels the same as receiving a gift," Vanessa stressed.
“Small daily actions one at a time can help us to make altruism a lifetime habit. You could start out small by deciding you are going to smile at everyone you meet or pay three people a compliment today,” she said.
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Human beings don’t hold a monopoly on empathy. Plenty of other animals have feelings and have demonstrated that they feel bad for other beings if they’re in trouble. For instance, a while back I wrote about an experiment on rat friendship.
As it turns out, rats help each other out if they sense that they’re distressed. However, they prefer to help rats who are most like them. Scientist Inbal Ben-Ami Bartal told Bored Panda that “rats will help others of their ingroup (cagemates and strangers of the same strain) but not the outgroup (strangers of a black-furred strain they are not familiar with).” In other words, rats are selective in who they help. However, this behavior changes the more familiar rats become with members of their outgroup.
“The encouraging thing is that we then found that cohabitation, living with a rat from the other strain for two weeks totally changes this behavior, and now rats will help that cagemate from the other strain. Even more impressively, after living together for two weeks with one rat of the other strain, they will help strangers from the other strain as well,” Bartal said.
The scientist added that social experience is actually what determines whether or not rats help each other, not their genetic similarity. Bartal said that in one case, rats were fostered at birth with those from another strain. “Like Mowgli, they were raised with the other strain and never encountered their own kind. When they grew up, they only helped rats of the adoptive strain, not the biological strain.”
In Bartal’s view, a lot of the discussion on animal empathy gets stuck on semantic issues. “For instance, the definition of empathy, how can we say that animals really feel empathy the same way we do. But empathy is a construct. We don’t even know what it is in humans really!” she said.
“I operate on the assumption that there is an evolutionary continuum between species, and that the basic building blocks of our responses are shared. Being sensitive to distress in others and motivated to care about their suffering is as old as the moment mother and child became connected for survival after birth.”