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Definitions

When we refer to any of the following, this is what we mean:

Altruism: The practice of selfless concern for others.

Anterior: Roughly, ‘in front of,’ or ‘towards the front’.

Compassion: Concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.

Empathy: The ability and practice of understanding, identifying with and sharing or experiencing the feelings and experiences of others.

Hormone: A regulatory substance that affects brain/body processes and influences mood and behavior.

Inferior: Below.

Kindness: Any action or inaction taken (or avoided) with the express purpose of benefiting someone else or preventing harm from occurring.

Lobule: A cluster of neurons that are involved in the same processes and may work together.

Negative Content: Anything that focuses on the “bad” elements of society, including greed, crime, destruction, etc., or is critical, partisan, hateful, violent, intentionally fear-producing, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate.

Neuron: A specialized nerve cell in the brain that sends and receives messages from other cells.

Neurotransmitter: A chemical substance released by one neuron that affects one or more other neurons connected to it. Can stimulate or inhibit that neuron.

Pay-It-Forward: Repaying a kindness received (or witnessed) to a new person or group instead of to the original benefactor.

Positive Content: Pictures, videos, stories, blogs, quotes, memes…anything that promotes a message or experience of kindness, togetherness, empathy, optimism or teamwork.

Posterior: Roughly, ‘Behind,’ or ‘towards the back/rear’.

Superior: Above.

The Pay-It-Forward Effect: A phenomenon where the receipt or witnessing of an act of kindness propels one to commit their own act of kindness, setting off a kindness chain-of-events where people continue to pay it forward.