The secret to truly understanding people? Meeting many different kinds and seeing what's universal.
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There are a lot of people out there. Billions of them!

But here's a question for you: Is most of humankind actually kind?

It can be a tricky question. It seems simple, but the answer can get complicated — fast.


Image via Thinkstock.

Researchers were also curious about this kindness thing, so they conducted some interesting studies.

They found that when people thought about their own social circles, they said those people seemed pretty kind. But grow that circle to society in general, and the answer changes quickly.

Psychologists learned that when it comes to the big picture, people are more likely to view society in general as not so nice after all.

How can we change that cynicism?

Well, we can start by being curious. By getting out there. Asking questions. Chatting with strangers. Exploring. Challenging comfort zones. Carpe-ing the diem.

Thanks to increased connectivity, we have access to more people, ideas, and places than ever before. Finding the kindness in humankind just takes that one first step beyond our own walls.

Exploring our world brings out our empathy, too. Take it from Mark Twain.

He once said traveling "is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."

We'd like to think he was telling us that traveling brings out the best in all of us. It helps us understand each other.

Image via Thinkstock.

Not to mention that discovering the world brings about new ideas, different perspectives, and a refreshing sense of self (and it's terrific for your health).

Exploring the world might help you to understand other perspectives.

Sometimes it can be tough to see the good in our world when a 24-hour news cycle is full of bad news. But in many vital ways, the world is actually becoming a much better place to live.

Who knows? Maybe you just need a trip to [insert bucket list destination here] to see it all from a different window than your own.

And another bonus: Finding the kindness in others might be contagious.

Want to start a revolution? We know that acts of kindness can inspire other acts of kindness.

Image via Thinkstock.

By taking one step out into the world, you could be inspiring empathy in people you don't even know.

Exploring your world can start now.

Just as long journeys begin with one step, goodness can be found in the next state (or even street) over — no new time zone required. After all, it's all about taking baby steps.

You just need to make the first move, like this adorable tot.


Let's get out there.

Photo courtesy of Capital One
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Growing up in Virginia, Dominique Meeks Gombe idolized her family physician — a young Black woman who inspired Meeks Gombe to pursue her passion for chemistry.

While Meeks Gombe began her career working in an environmental chemistry lab, after observing multiple inefficient processes in and around the lab, she took the initiative to teach herself to code in order to automate and streamline those issues.

That sparked her love for coding and imminent career shift. Now a software engineer at Capital One, Meeks Gombe wants to be a similar role model to her childhood mentor and encourage girls to pursue any career they desire.

"I'm so passionate about technology because that's where the world is going," Meeks Gombe said. "All of today's problems will be solved using technology. So it's very important for me, as a Black woman, to be at the proverbial table with my unique perspective."

Since 2019, she and her fellow Capital One associates have partnered with the Capital One Coders program and Girls For A Change to teach coding fundamentals to middle school girls.

The nonprofit's mission is aimed at empowering Black girls in Central Virginia. The organization focuses on designing, leading, funding and implementing social change projects that tackle issues girls face in their own neighborhoods.

Girls For a Change is one of many local nonprofits that receive support from the Capital One Impact Initiative, which strives to close gaps in equity while helping people gain better access to economic and social opportunities. The initial $200 million, five-year national commitment aims to support growth in underserved communities as well as advance socioeconomic mobility.

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This is one of those times.

An incredible woman has the perfect response for someone who says, "You speak so well ... for a black girl."

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