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Spreading Kindness!

Kindness, behaving towards others with consideration, generosity and caring, is one of humanity’s best qualities. It is vital to our survival, for we cannot navigate this life successfully without the compassionate support of others, in one way or another.


Kindness Can Be Simple


Kindness doesn’t have to be complicated, effortful or deliberately thought out ahead of time. Kindness can be simply waiting courteously to let a person having difficulty passing through a door go before you, rather than huffing with impatience.

Or simply listening to a friend stuck in a challenging situation, instead of jumping in to fix it for them, which empowers you but disempowers them. Or the easiest of all, that can be repeated many times a day: saying “thank you” as often as you can.


Such kindness costs nothing, yet the rewards not only to the person on the receiving end of your kindness but to yourself are very real. Research shows that even small acts of kindness over a short period lead to increased life satisfaction.


Big or Small, Kindness Is Always Meaningful


Kindness on a bigger scale, such as volunteering in service to others, be they human or animal, generates even greater benefits. Studies consistently show that seniors who volunteer on a regular basis experience less depression, less cognitive decline, better self-reported health, fewer functional limitations, and are likely to enjoy greater longevity.

Dr. Mildred Dixon was a prime example of one who enjoyed the many personal benefits of volunteering. Dr. Dixon, at 100, is the oldest National Park Service volunteer, having served for 44 years. The National Park Service was dear to Dr. Dixon’s heart, because, as she put it, each park tells a story of “inspiration, creativity and perseverance.”


Kindness Is Worthwhile


You don’t have to put in an entire lifetime of volunteering to improve your life satisfaction or contribute to the well-being of the planet. If you can, great. If not, the smallest acts of kindness are worthwhile, to yourself and those who receive your kindness.


So the next time your neighbor asks you to walk their dog, or water their plants while they are out of town for a day or two, think twice before you automatically say “Sorry, no can do.” Thanks go such a long way in spreading kindness.


Questions for you!


What act of kindness made by others toward you made you smile?

What recent act of kindness did you do for someone else?

How did it make you feel?

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