Sunday, October 25, 2015

New Post: "Missing Opportunities for Kindness"

Missing Opportunities for Kindness

You and I are lost.
In a world full of complex emotions and desires,
We still all have the same needs.
I believe one such need is to show Kindness.

We have all heard the phrase, "Practice Random Acts of Kindness",
But why should anyone think it matters?
Sure, kindness may improve the world,
Making a difference to those we help,
But why should we stop what we are doing,
And offer to help someone else?

For the most selfish reason of all...
Kindness can produce more joy and relaxation in your own life,
and showing it may improve your immune system.

Studies have shown that Kindess shown by someone
May actually release endorphins, and other nuero-chemical transmitters
That allow our bodies to feel more at peace.
This lowering of our heart-rate can also boost our esteem and feeling of self-worth.
We feel less vulnerable to the worlds problems, 
and as a result can our determination is strengthened 
because somehow we feel less threatened.

Why is this?
We have all heard of stories where a 'grumpy' person,
Comes to somehow help someone else, 
And one result is they become nicer because they feel better themselves.
The truth is this can be a reality for you and me, no matter where we are.

Have you ever heard that some financially poor communities
Show higher levels of 'happiness' 
Than other areas where everyone has more?
This is usually because that same community
Has made it their responsibility to give to others on need.
Wait a minute... What was that?!?
That's right! 

When my home town of New Orleans was hit by hurricane Katrina
People from around the world watched the out-pouring of generosity.
Sociologist and psychiatrists were able to question people
Then they would measure what they 'had'
Compared it with what they 'gave'
And the result was that people who had 'less' 
Founder greater joy in what they gave away.
Some of this was money, and some was people's times.

That gave what they had,
Even when what was available was so small to begin with,
And their life seemed better afterwards.

What other scientists later saw was that those who gave
Found themselves sick less often.
They were more well-balanced in life,
With fewer reported 'personal problems' compared to the rest of society.

Where do you hold-back?
Where could you give more of yourself,
Rather than protecting yourself from possibly losing out?

I like to volunteer on a regular basis, 
And I can say that when I don't...
My life just doesn't feel the same.

One of the times when I did was while I was incarcerated:
I earned $1/day for helping other men learn to read and do math,
And later they were able to take and pass their GED test.
And then... I gave some of that money away each month 
To help wherever I could, whether to people in prison or outside.

And what I felt was a sense of triumph,
That even while locked-away,
My life could still matter.

Do you wonder if your life has any worth to it?
Look around, and find a place to help someone today,
And start seeing the benefit, 
for both yourself and them!

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