We need more random acts of kindness at this time

Perfect antidote

I’m declaring this week to be Random Acts of Kindness week for all of my readers. Bold move, but we must. Let this virus contaminate the world!

Something is needed in our world, and it’s certainly not more of the fear, hatred, anger, and division we’ve been witnessing.

I was recently uplifted and inspired by a video-clip of singer/songwriter, Jann Arden, and students from the Doane USchool performing the song Try a Little Kindness. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

There was wisdom in the lyrics of the chorus being changed to reflect the possibility people today may be more broken-hearted about what’s happening in the world than narrow-minded, as was written in Glen Campbell’s original song.

It’s important to consider sadness and fear may be the source of much of the challenging behaviour we’re witnessing in the world today.

Someone needs to do something? We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. Let’s show up in a way that reflects the world we want to live in. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

It seems there’s so much to fight about. People are dividing into camps and unfriending others on social media at lightning speed. In the face of all the upset, kindness is a radical act. Let’s be radicals together.

While Nov. 13th is World Kindness Day, and Feb. 17th is the official Random Acts of Kindness Day, we can all use a bit of the powerful tonic of kindness in our lives right now. There can never be too much.

Don’t mistake random acts of kindness (RAK) as some airy-fairy thing that’s just nice to do. Performing random acts of kindness offers great health benefits that may be the perfect antidote to what’s happening in the world today.

RAK are of interest in the scientific and psychological world today, as researchers delve into the benefits.

While recipients of kind acts benefit in a variety of ways, we don’t have to wait for them to happen to us. The greatest effects of RAK are experienced by those who perform such acts:

• Reduced depression & anxiety

• Increased self-worth & happiness

• Increased confidence

• Increased sense of personal connection

• Reduced stress hormones

• Decreased blood pressure & heart rate

• Increased heart health

• Decreased pain

• Increased cognitive function

• Strengthened immune system

• Increased energy

We can rewire our brains and reset our body chemistry for the better, as acts of caring find their way into our brains and bodies, and we make the world a better place.

My older brother, Dave, is the king of RAK. He’s amazing at seizing opportunities to perform acts of kindness, big and small. He inspires me to be on constant look-out for places where I can show up with kindness. Research shows successful people are found to incorporate kindness into their lives, and this is certainly true for him.

I love when he tells me about what he’s done, and just hearing the happiness in his voice brings me joy. We imagine together the positive ripple created by his caring actions and are both uplifted. I can feel the smiles coming across our daughters’ faces when I tell them about their uncle’s action. The virus spreads.

This uplifting effect isn’t an aberration, as research reveals even witnessing or hearing about acts of kindness benefits others. Others are uplifted and more likely to extend kindness, compounding the effects.

As research into the benefits of RAK continues, encouraging such acts is being considered as an intervention to support mental well-being.

Performing RAK can be as simple as:

• Sending a kind text to your friends

• Mail a handwritten card (they’re rare these days)

• Holding a door for another with a smile

• Offering a compliment

• Buying a coffee for the person behind you in the line-up

Kindness may be the perfect antidote for us all right now.

More New Thought articles

About the Author

Corinne is first a wife, mother, and grandmother, whose eclectic background has created a rich alchemy that serves to inform her perspectives on life.

Corinne, a registered nurse with a master’s degree in Health Science, is a staff minister with the Centre for Spiritual Living Kelowna, and a hospice volunteer. She is an adjunct professor with the school of nursing  at UBC Okanagan, and is currently teaching smartUBC, a unique Mindfulness program offered at UBC, to the public. She is an invited speaker and presenter.

From diverse experience and knowledge, personally and professionally, Corinne has developed an extraordinary passion for helping people to gain a new perspective, awaken, and to recognize that we do not have to be a slave to our thoughts or to life; we are always at a point of change.

Through this column, Corinne blends her insights and research to provide food for the mind and the heart, to encourage an awakening of the power and potential within everyone.

Corinne lives in Kelowna with her husband of 41 years, and can be reached at [email protected].

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories