I'm in a flight of books about being nice. It's like a flight of beer, tapas, a tasting menu of kindness. I can choose to use my turn signals, help a person with her grocery bags, and hope they won't think I'm going to mug them.
Some of the books say kindness is an inherent trait of humanity. I disagree; I've seen my young kids fighting over the last grape like great apes, teeth chiseled like silverbacks, and as scary. I've seen them succeed in biting each other. My sister bit me once. Horrified, my mom said, "We don't bite each other!"
We're like dogs. Trainable. Therefore I think kindness can be taught. I'm starting a dinner table practice tonight, where instead of demanding the ketchup and grabbing the nits from my children's hair, I ask politely beforehand, "How was your day?" and listen attentively.