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World Kindness Day

Can one act of kindness make a difference?

A few weeks ago it was World Kindness Day- an international holiday that was formed in 1998 to promote kindness throughout the world.

Kindness…“the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate” (according to Wikipedia) is so simple but yet so powerful!! Imagine a world where we were just a little more kind…can you imagine the difference it could make? Would we see less anxiety, depression, comparison, loneliness? I think so!

Did you know there are scientifically proven benefits of being kind? According to the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation “Witnessing acts of kindness produces oxytocin, occasionally referred to as the ‘love hormone’ which aids in lowering blood pressure and improving our overall heart-health. Oxytocin also increases our self-esteem and optimism, which is extra helpful when we’re anxious or shy in a social situation.” They also found in a study that was conducted, that around half of the participants reported feeling stronger and more energetic after helping others. As well as feeling calmer, less depressed and gaining increased feelings of self-worth. Another survey completed by Harvard Business School on happiness found that in 136 countries, people who were more generous financially were the happiest overall.

I don’t find it ironic that kindness can make such a difference. Can you remember the last time someone did something kind for you? Is it something that is etched in your brain!? I imagine it probably is. I particularly remember the time a friend randomly left a bunch of flowers on my doorstep, and the time someone gave me their parking ticket as there were still a few hours left on it and they didn’t want it to go to waste, or even just the random encouraging texts I have received out of the blue. All of these acts of kindness encouraged me to want to pass it on and do something for someone else. So what if each day we made the effort to do just one kind thing for someone else? Could this create a ripple effect? How about sending a kind text to someone you know- a thank you, a well wish, a compliment? What about smiling or saying good morning to someone on your way to work? How about surprising your colleague with a kind post it note on their desk or bringing in a treat for them? How about offering to buy a drink for someone? Or helping an elderly person with their shopping, or letting someone go in front of you in the queue? How about just taking the time to listen to someone you don’t usually get the time to listen to? All of these are small gestures, but they could brighten up someone else’s day, and if we all did this, it could have that ripple effect which could make the world of difference.

In the bible in Ephesians 4:32 it says “Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you”. As Christians we believe in the importance of sharing the light of Christ with others through both our actions and words, and following the example of Christ whose very character exuberates kindness.

So come on, lets get this ripple effect going… 😊

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