Kindness is always possible

I’ve been thinking a lot about kindness lately.  What does it mean to be kind?  Am I kind? How often do I show kindness to others? As I think about these questions, my mind starts to kicking up dirt, and out of curiosity I Googled kindness just to see what came up.  Along side Wikipedia’s definition of kindness and numerous quotes, I found an article on the health benefits of kindness on a website called, “Pathways to Family Wellness.”   Hmmm.  I’m intrigued.  So I read on.  Here’s an excerpt from the article.

“Being kind has a profound impact in the lives of others but you may not know how much of a positive health benefit it delivers to you as well.

People who perform acts of kindness would agree that being kind to someone else makes them “feel good.” Scientific research shows that it not only can make you feel good but being kind has a significant health benefit, both physically and mentally.

Allan Luks, the former executive director of the Institute for the Advancement of Health and executive director of Big Brothers/ Big Sisters of New York City studied kindness and documents his findings in his book, The Healing Power of Doing Good: The Health and Spiritual Benefits of Helping Others.

Luks’ study involved more than 3,000 volunteers of all ages at more than 20 organizations throughout the country. He sent a 17- question survey to these volunteers, asking them how they felt when they did a kind act. A total of 3,296 surveys were returned to Luks, and after a computerized analysis, he saw a clear cause and- effect relationship between helping and good health. Luks concluded, ‘Helping contributes to the maintenance of good health, and it can diminish the effect of diseases and disorders serious and minor, psychological and physical.'”

Interesting.  I knew that it felt good to help others, but I didn’t realize there were actual health benefits.  Bonus.  Another one for my recent post, “Selfishly be someone else’s miracle.”

I continued mining through the returned results from my search, and stumbled up on the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation website.  Aaah, sweet inspiration.  Just reading the stories people have posted about acts of generosity and compassion began to fire up my tenderness tapas.  The thing is, random acts of kindness don’t have to be award-winning gestures of selflessness.  Merely being there for another human being in any form IS kindness.  And, sometimes kindness simply means NOT harming another. Not cutting someone off in traffic.  Not voicing your frustration to the customer service representative.  Not winning an argument.

“It is necessary to help others, not only in our prayers, but in our daily lives. If we find we cannot help others, the least we can do is to resist from harming them.” The Dalai Lama

Kindness is always an option.  How will you show kindness today?

Namaste.

– Your Charmed Yogi

Photo Source: Sara on Pinterest

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7 thoughts on “Kindness is always possible

  1. mmmm…kindness. I like to consider myself kind…but sometimes people do things & then i think…wow…i need to be kinder!

    Before i left for my trip to Boston, i was happily eating snacks at my gate patiently awaiting for my plane to arrive. My child finally decided she WAS hungry, so we walked over to Starbucks to find her something unhealthy, but yummy. As i was checking out, i noticed that i had lost my check card…ooops! “Maybe i should have taken money out of the ATM” i thought…i began to lose it. “How can i go out of town with no money? How will i catch my cab & feed my child when i get to Boston, banks will be closed and it will be late.” These are all the things i am crying to my husband on the phone…probably loudly…and i probably said a few cuss words that i am sure were heard by some folks near by.

    After getting off the phone, and trying not to cry…a lady walked up to me tossed $60 in my purse and said “please do not reject this money, i have been in your shoes, you have a child, and you need this way more than i do right now” I could not muster any words out of my mouth…but a tearful thank you. Of course, my pride & ego wanted to give her the money back…but when i looked at my hungry child…i thought maybe i do need it.

    This was my experience with kindness recently. All i keep thinking is that i need to pay it forward. Well…now that i am broke it will be hard to hand over $$…but there are many more ways to be kind other than giving money. It really opened my eyes…i kept thinking to myself “see..there really ARE kind people all over the place, we just don’t see it”

    Great read and a good reminder to be kind 🙂 Thank you!

    A therapist once told me that anonymous random acts of kindness can even do so much as cure depression and other disorders that can take over someone’s life. I totally believe it…

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