Exploring the Link Between Kindness and Peace Leadership to Change Xenophobic Mindsets

Location: Jepson 120
Date: Sat, April 27
Time: 12:30 PM - 1:10 PM

This theoretical paper explores the connection between the concept of kindness and peace leadership, specifically to change xenophobia in today's complex world. Authors intend to propose that the kindness attitude may add value to peace leadership practices to change xenophobic mindsets across all levels of society including academic, social, business, and political.

Xenophobia is rapidly increasing in today's complex world ( Yokushko, 2009). Authors define xenophobia as a strong fear or hate towards strangers and/or foreigners ( Varsanska, Kavicy, & Janl, 2017). Fear and hate are often expressed in the forms of various atrocities such as strong dislike, intolerance, violence, abuse against different races, cultures, traditions, beliefs, and religion. These atrocities may lead individuals to cultivate a xenophobic mindset to practice (knowing or unknowing) aggression and hatred against others ( Navarro, Marchena, Menacho, 2012; Sternberg, 2015; Seddig & Davidov, 2018). Authors identified that the disposition of kindness ( Layous, Nelson, Oberle, Reichi, and Lyubomirsky, 2012) may act as a change evoking attitude to address the xenophobic mindset. The concept of kindness is defined as "selfless acts performed by a person wishing to either help or positively affect the emotional state (mood) of another person ( Passmore and Oades, 2015, p. 90). A recent study conducted by Sussex University, UK, divides kindness as altruistic (the action that expects no reciprocation) and strategic ( deliberate actions that expect a reciprocation when there is an opportunity) ( Culter, 2018). The concept of kindness refereed to as a well-being capacity often increases: compassion ( Mathers, 2016), peer-acceptance ( Layous et al, 2012). morale ( Caldwell, 2017), and happiness ( Rowland & Curry, 2018). But there is no evidence showing how the combined effect of kindness and peace leadership can change the xenophobic mindsets. Peace leadership or leaders mobilize various change - evoking attitudes for the benefits of humanity and the planet ( Miller and Greet, 2015). Mobilization of the kindness attitude might contribute to peace leadership practices, specifically to change xenophobic mindsets. Within this context, the authors aim to analyze existing literature to integrate kindness and peace leadership to counter xenophobia across all levels of society.