What are three (more – the first three are available here) real-world benefits of kindness, as outlined in Podcast #3: One Of A Kind? Why is acting with kindness as a lifestyle habit important? Is it worth the effort? From my perspective, there are very few things of more importance that you can do to create and maintain a fulfilling life. Here’s why:
People need love and kindness.
It’s no secret that people in today’s world are more stressed, on edge and dissatisfied than possibly any other time in the history of mankind. Life has accelerated to a pace that is difficult for many to maintain. Competition is at an all-time high. Social media has blurred the lines between individual privacy and public entertainment. For school-aged children, bullying has become a significant issue, with nearly one in three students reporting they have been bullied in the past year according to the National Center for Educational Statistics (re: the United States). A British Social Attitudes survey reports that employees are more dissatisfied with their jobs and work-life balance in the UK than in most other European countries. And a Psychology Today Body Image Survey of 4,000 men and women found that 56 percent of women and 54% of men were dissatisfied with their overall appearance. The statistics for youth 13-19 years old were similar.
Author Henry David Thoreau famously wrote that, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” But it doesn’t need to be this way. You now know that kindness lends voice to that song, and that people need not remain locked in their dissatisfaction, unhappiness and depression. When you take a look around, there’s always someone in need, and always something you can do, no matter how small or seemingly inconsequential.
People love kindness. It feeds them. It nourishes them. And it sustains them because, in it’s purest form, kindness is love in action.
Kindness carries within it healing energy.
In our opening true story about Andy Mackie we encounter real-life, physical proof that Kindness heals. For Andy, after 9 heart surgeries, a weakened heart and body, and multiple daily heart medications, he’d had enough of his lifestyle. He knew he didn’t have much time, so he simply made a choice to give what time he had left, and the money he was spending on heart medication, in service to teaching music to children. He even said that he expected to die soon … which indicates that Andy didn’t do this to help himself, only to help others.
Then a miraculous thing happened: the more Andy gave, the better he felt. His health improved, despite no longer taking his medications. Andy lived the next 10 years this way, teaching children how to play harmonicas while enjoying improved vitality. Through giving to others, he received a life worth living.
Healing energy resides in each act of kindness. When you give to others, you heal them in some way, however big or small. The extent of the healing may not be something we can control, but positive benefits of kindness on the living is something we can count on. Andy didn’t expect to live longer, but he did. Andy Mackie was One Of A Kind.Kindness creates more of itself.
Each act of kindness raises the energy in the receiver, which feels good. This feeling creates its own momentum, and many times the receiver becomes the giver, offering their kindness to others. It’s as if the universe desires to bring people together, and has pre-wired us in ways that promote this.
An individual never knows the extent of the influence their acts of kindness may have. It’s like walking through a large field and planting seeds – the capacity to bear fruit is in each of the seeds you plant. You really can’t control which of them will grow – that’s up to nature, and depends on the soil, rain, sunshine and other factors the seeds are exposed to. But in nature, once the seeds have grown, they often spread their own seeds into the wind, ensuring the growth of more of their own. So the planting of one seed can, and often does, create a never-ending cycle of growth. It’s the same with people and living things. Being One of a Kind, through kindness, spreads and multiplies a single act into many benefits.
To learn more about the benefits of being One of a Kind, check out our One of a Kind Podcast.
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