“Because that’s what kindness is. It’s not doing something for someone else because they can’t, but because you can.”
I came across this quote today and it sent me down the memory lane…….
I had just moved to Pittsburgh and was still getting used to driving on the curved roads and hilly terrain. I wasn’t very confident in my driving skills either, so I would just stick to the familiar areas and roads.
One day I went to the doctor’s office for a physical, I knew the road well, how to get there and back. It was a glorious spring day with flowers blooming everywhere, and fragrance in the air. In the spring, along with flowers, comes the construction season. On my way back I saw that the portion of the road, I took to get home, was closed due to construction, with no detour posted. I was forced to turn the other way, very nervous, not knowing where to go. I saw a post office and pulled in the parking lot.
Looking around for someone to ask for help, I saw a man about to get in his car. I approached him and asked for directions, and explained that the usual route is closed. He said, “Follow me.” As I followed him, through traffic lights, and stop signs, he made sure that I was behind him. After driving for about five miles he pulled into a gas station close to where I lived and asked, “You think you can manage from here on your own?” I said, “Yes, thank you very much! Do you live around here?” He said,”No, I live near the post office.” Before I could say anything more, he was gone.
It has been 18 years and I still think about the kindness of the stranger who went out of his way to help me. He could have just given me the directions, but probably he sensed my nervousness, or maybe he was just a kind soul.
In order to be kind to others you may not even have to spend a penny, it can be something as simple as a smile or a kind word.
“It is one of the beautiful compensations in this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Research has shown many benefits of being kind to others. Here are three ways being kind to others can help you.
1.It will make you healthy
Kindness towards others makes you feel good about yourself. You feel happy and it puts you in a better mood. It may also help reduce your stress level.
According to Lara Honos-Webb Ph.D. being nice to others can even change your brain. It gives your brain a serotonin boost. “Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that gives us the feeling of satisfaction and well-being. Most of the anti-depressant medications work by increasing the amount of serotonin available to your brain. All of this means that doing nice things for other people changes your brain in ways that make you feel better.”
The advantages of kindness towards others do not stop at mental health but also extend to physical health. People who are kind tend to live a longer healthier life. Being nice to others may help you lower your blood pressure and may reduce aches and pains in older people. It may also improve your immune system.
By helping others you not only enrich their life but also your own because it helps you boost your self-confidence and overall well-being.
2. It will improve your relationships
“At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
Imagine a member of your household seems a little irritated and snaps at you, and you snap right back at them, and the whole situation just escalates. Instead if you show some kindness to them and try and understand if there is something bothering them, that is a whole different scenario. And maybe next time when something is bothering you they will show the same kindness towards you. You are more likely to be surrounded by true friends, and family.
The same thing applies to work relationships too. Being kind to your
Co-workers will go a long way in forging healthy and beneficial relationships in workplace.
3. It will boost your productivity
As the saying goes “What goes around comes around”, when you are kind to others, they are more likely to return the kindness. It will be easier for you to get things done as there will be many willing people who would like to return the favor.
Also, when you are healthy and happy you can get things done quicker, and in a much more efficient way. Being in a better mood helps boost your productivity, because you can focus better.
When you are nice to others you will have the support required from your family and co-workers to thrive in your workplace.
While we are on the topic of kindness, we need to remember that along with being kind to others it is very important to be kind to ourselves too. We need to take care of ourselves first, before we can take care of others.
Being too selfless and altruistic can sometimes lead to resentments. It may result in people taking you for granted and assuming that it is your weakness. It is ultimately a balance between being kind, and at the same time setting boundaries so that you do not get run over by others.
Do you have a special story about kindness? Please share it in the comments below.