My working definition of kindness is being empathetic and giving generously to others without any expectation of gaining anything in return. I have found it to be an incredible source of enjoyment in my life. Nothing makes me happier than to see another human being smile and know that I helped alleviate even the slightest pain that the person was feeling. I feel that the most important part of this definition is not having any expectations in return… The act of kindness itself is the key factor. The feeling of fulfillment I get as a result of kindness, is enough of a reward in and of itself. In order to practice this at a very young age I would carry out at least one random act of kindness a day, as a result I started to feel better about myself. These acts of kindness helped my self-esteem and boosted my self-confidence. I felt more at peace and realized the more I focused on being kind to others, the better I felt about myself. There is a body of research supporting that there are actual positive physiological effects associated with kindness.
According to Dr. Steve Siegle a behavioral health professional “Kindness has been shown to increase self-esteem, empathy and compassion, and improve mood. It can decrease blood pressure and cortisol, a stress hormone, which directly impacts stress levels. People who give of themselves in a balanced way also tend to be healthier and live longer.” (Speaking of Health MAY 29, 2020).
So, there you have it, kindness can also add years to your life!!!
When we can be kind to one another why be any other way?
I leave you with two beautiful quotes on kindness. Let’s be kinder to one another…
Sometimes it takes only one act of kindness and caring to change a person’s life.” – Jackie Chan
“Do things for people not because of who they are or what they do in return, but because of who you are.” – Harold S. Kushner