Join us on April 28

RSVP here

Is Kindness the Key to Happiness?
Wednesday, April 28, at 6pm via Zoom

Bring your ideas for making change one small act at a time, and leave with concrete actions you can take to create a better world for all of us—and be happier for it.

And get the book! Proceeds from Humankind: Changing the World One Small Act At a Time, available for purchase at Head House Books, support Big Brother Big Sisters.


Join upcoming Citizen events

Check out the lineup

Here’s what we’ve got coming up—keep an eye on our events page for more!

An evening with journalist (and millennial) Jill Filopovic, author of OK Boomer, Let’s Talk: How My Generation Got Left Behind. Filopovich shows that millennials are not the avocado toast-eating snowflakes of boomer outrage fantasies. She upends dated assumptions with revelatory data and paints a revealing portrait of America’s most educated, most engaged, yet least-wealthy generation. Register here.

May 10, 1933 marks the first student-led book burning in Germany. These students, under the guidance of Nazi ideology, carried out public burnings of books they claimed were ‘un-German.’ The burnings took place in 34 university towns and cities. Works of prominent Jewish, liberal, and leftist writers were targeted for burning. (Registration link coming soon.)

MSNBC Anchor and Citizen Board member Ali Velshi’s analyzes the first 100 days of the Biden presidency and looks forward. In conversation with The Citizen’s Larry Platt and Roxanne Patel Shepelavy. (Registration link coming soon.)

The Citizen Recommends: Is Kindness the Key to Happiness?

Find out next week at a Citizen event with author/entrepreneur Brad Aronson and Penn neuroscientist Dr. Vera Ludwig

The Citizen Recommends: Is Kindness the Key to Happiness?

Find out next week at a Citizen event with author/entrepreneur Brad Aronson and Penn neuroscientist Dr. Vera Ludwig

[Editor’s note: Dr. Karen Reivich, who was scheduled to appear at this event, is now unable to attend. Dr. Vera Ludwig, a Penn neuroscientist, will appear instead.] 

When entrepreneur/mentor Brad Aronson’s wife was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago, everything seemed overwhelming: caring for Mia during grueling medical treatments, running their household, caring for their young son, keeping it all together.

But one thing made it all bearable: kindness from family, friends and even those Aronson barely knew. His brother and sister-in-law sent a care package with everything they’d learned people undergoing cancer treatments needed. One cousin brought over a bowl of candy to give to the nurses; another offered to take his son on weekends. A friend brought lunch and a craft every week. Neighbors signed his son up for little league; a colleague offered to take over his nonprofit board duties.

The list in Aronson’s book, HumanKind, goes on, with one thing standing out: All those people rallied around without being asked. They just did it.

Inspired by the kindness he experienced, Aronson spent the months of Mia’s treatment writing the anecdotes that became HumanKind, a compendium of stories about small acts of generosity that have huge ripple effects. As he says early in the book, a Wall Street Journal bestseller:

The heroes in HumanKind don’t command an army of helpers or have an abundance of free time. They’re everyday people who focus on what they can do to make a difference. Their acts of kindness change lives and even save them. These everyday heroes don’t just hope the world will get better—they make it better.

An early tech pioneer, Aronson’s iFrontier was sold to Microsoft, and since leaving the company a few years later, he has gone on to invest in other startups while spending most of his time living the life he writes about in his book. A mentor since his middle school days, he served on the board of, and was a big brother at, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and is board president of Hopeworks, the Camden tech training and mentoring program for which he also teaches an entrepreneurship class.

He does all this because it is the right thing to do—and also, because “I realized at some point that it made me happier.”

As it turns out, Aronson’s experience is actually borne out by science. Kindness increases our oxytocin, which scientists associate with empathy and trust, and serotonin, a key mood stabilizer. It increases our lifespans, and our energy levels. It literally makes us healthier, and happier—while at the same time helping others to be healthier and happier.

Join The Citizen on Wednesday, April 28th at 6pm for a Zoom conversation with Aronson and Dr. Vera Ludwig, a Penn neuroscientist and researcher, to talk about how being kind to others is also a key to being kind to ourselves—and for ideas about where to begin being kind, right here in Philadelphia.

Wednesday, April 28, at 6pm via Zoom. Register for this free event here.

The Philadelphia Citizen will only publish thoughtful, civil comments. If your post is offensive, not only will we not publish it, we'll laugh at you while hitting delete.

Be a Citizen Editor

Suggest a Story

Advertising Terms

We do not accept political ads, issue advocacy ads, ads containing expletives, ads featuring photos of children without documented right of use, ads paid for by PACs, and other content deemed to be partisan or misaligned with our mission. The Philadelphia Citizen is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization and all affiliate content will be nonpartisan in nature. Advertisements are approved fully at The Citizen's discretion. Advertisements and sponsorships have different tax-deductible eligibility. For questions or clarification on these conditions, please contact Director of Sales & Philanthropy Kristin Long at [email protected] or call (609)-602-0145.