Is kindness uncommon?
“When one reaches out to help another he touches the face of God.” – Walt Whitman
Your kindness counts
Henri Nouwen says, “…our faithfulness to a small task is the most healing response to the illnesses of our time.” Kindness matters, and your efforts in the smallest expressions of that goodness can have large effect.
Take a little minute and consider the nature of the acts of kindness that have most put air in your own lungs. Was it a break, a smile, a compliment, a hand up, or a hard-earned treat? Whatever it was, it probably didn’t cost the giver much, and it made a difference to your day. What was it like for you to be the recipient? And did you go on to be a giver of the same?
Benefits to bein’ nice
Psychology Today notes, “A recent study, Kindness Counts, conducted by researchers from the University of British Columbia and the University of California, Riverside, broke new ground by showing the benefits derived by tweens when they were taught happiness-increasing strategies.
For a month, several hundred 9-11 year-olds performed and recorded three acts of kindness each week for anyone they wished. Another several hundred kept track of three pleasant places they visited during the week.
Not surprisingly, the results were consistent with adult studies. When kids performed acts of kindness or took notice of the pleasant places they visited during the week, they significantly increased feelings of happiness and satisfaction.
But those who performed acts of kindness received an additional benefit. Measuring how well children were liked or accepted by their peers, the study showed those who performed acts of kindness gained an average of 1.5 friends during the four-week period – good support for the idea that ‘nice guys finish first.'” (Acts of Kindness: Key to Happiness for Children & Teens)
Three acts of kindness each week? ‘Sounds do-able! Let’s take up that challenge and make a difference.