Time magazine honors Bay Area man for humanitarian efforts and promoting kindness

In its latest issue published Thursday, Time magazine is recognizing 27 individuals for their work in what it describes as "bridging the divide across the United States.

Among them is an East Bay man who teaches about the importance of kindness.

Jason Marsh is executive director of UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center.

The recognition is for his work on unity and shared humanity during polarizing times.

"I was honored to be part of this article. There's so many people doing important work in this country," said Marsh. 

He was a graduate student at UC Berkeley 17 years ago and founded Greater Good's online publication  promoting kindess, compassion and empathy.

The Greater Good Science Center produces online classes, podcasts and in-person workshops before the shelter-in-place order.

Marsh said people who are educators, health care professionals, and parents take the center's research and apply it to their everyday lives.

Timeless and never more relevant than now as the country and the world are  confronted with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marsh says complying with social distancing and shelter-in-place are examples of people taking action for the greater good.

"Those are tough sacrifices to make but at the same time, it'll insure that fewer people will get sick. Fewer people are taxing the healthcare system," said Marsh.

He said  parents can teach children by example.

"Even from toddlerhood on up, even helping them understand what other people's experiences are like, take other people's point of view. That can lead them later in life to be kinder and more generous to people."

Marsh urges people to practice random acts of kindness. Even the smallest gestures matter.

"Helping someone by holding the door or giving someone a smile or wave on the street. It helps to perpetuate this idea that we're all in this together," said Marsh.

Acts of kindness have a  ripple effect. He said kindness is what will help get us through these challenging times.