Doesn’t it fill your heart when you see a person being kind?
In this turned upside down world, kindness powers us up when we feel disheartened. People are stepping up to serve our most vulnerable, we’re showing appreciation and celebrating the everyday heroes working on our behalf to take care of us and communities are learning the value of having and being good neighbours. It seems kindness is reviving our faith in humanity.
At one time it was thought that human beings were selfish but as scientists unlock more about the complex nature of being human, new conclusions are being reached. While we are very interested in our own survival and success, studies reveal that generosity is in our biology and our evolution.
Before our lives were disrupted by this pandemic, we had a narrower focus on our own needs, our family’s needs and our next right moves toward feeling successful. Along came a major disruption that actually cracked people’s hearts wide open. There’s more empathy in our world than ever and more generosity springing from that empathy. Most people are just doing the right thing by helping others, however they can.
“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” —Princess Diana
Dr. David Hamilton a physicist and kindness expert talks about the five side effects of kindness.
1. It makes us happier as our brain releases chemicals that increase dopamine and we get a good feeling.
2. Our hearts are healthier. That good feeling produces oxytocin in the brain and the body which increases nitric oxide, reducing blood pressure.
3. Being kind slows aging; again oxytocin helps reduce inflammation in our cardio vascular system and slows aging.
4. Being kind and generous makes our relationships better.
5. Kindness is contagious. According to Dr. Hamilton it has a contagion factor of five; each act of kindness impacts five people.
“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” —Scott Adams
If we’ve learned anything in this pandemic pause, it’s that we certainly can’t control world events. What we can control though is how we respond to world events. Perhaps you’ve been quite content in your life in this unusual time or maybe you’ve been feeling anxious or frustrated. Or maybe it’s all of the above. Whatever you feel is just fine and it stands to reason that our feelings are all over the place. So what does this have to do with kindness you may ask?
Well, if you’ve been feeling content and happy during this period, you can share some of that goodness with others through acts of kindness. If you’ve been feeling anxious, a good way to shift that energy is…..you guessed it…by focusing your attention outward on acts of kindness for others. Let me say here that an act of kindness can be a smile, it can be listening to somebody, it can be monetary or it can be sharing your talent as in baking for someone, writing a card or a thoughtful email.
I don’t think there’s been a better opportunity in history than right now to tap into the vision that each one of us can make a difference by being kind.
I’d like to invite you to become a VIP member of The Secret Kindness Club, where we do acts of kindness every day for others and don’t tell anybody. No further action is required to become a member; initiation begins with your next act of kindness.
Here’s your first challenge. Notice the next three people you encounter and say something kind to them. It can be wishing them a cheerful good day, complimenting them on something they’ve done or something they’re wearing. Notice their smile, thank them for something or acknowledge them by saying hello. Be courageous; make the first move and discover for yourself how your kind acts can help change the world. Welcome to the club!I started a private Facebook group called The Secret Kindness Club, where we can share our acts of kindness and be inspired by others. All you have to do is ask to join.