Can Random Acts of Kindness Change People’s Lives?
Here’s how they have, and how they still can.
At some point in our lives, we’ve all benefited from at least one person's random act of kindness. Sometimes it’s as simple as helping someone lift their luggage into an overhead compartment. Other times, it’s stopping to comfort an injured person while the ambulance arrives.
I've been on both the giving and receiving end of these acts. Either way, those acts of kindness made me feel a whole lot better than I had before they were shared.
What’s more, that feeling can last for years. Or it can suddenly appear in our darkest moments, reminding us that good people do exist. It shows us that we deserve good things and that others recognize this, as well.
If that weren’t enough, random acts of kindness can actually change someone’s life.
For the giver of kindness, this recent article in Psychology Today states that when we practice random acts of kindness:
A positive domino effect occurs. We feel better and the recipients of our acts feel better; in turn, this makes them more likely to be kind to other people.
It can release neurochemicals that promote a sense of well-being, or as Allan Luks and Peggy Payne describe “the healing power of doing good.”
It can reduce pain. Dopamine, serotonin, and endogenous opioids are released by kind behavior.
In interactions where two or more people are engaged in kindness behavior, the release of oxytocin is enhanced. As a result, the bonds between those engaged in mutual kindness are strengthened.
Since stress can lead to physical ailments; kindness relieves these ailments by way of reducing stress.
Acts of kindness can help depressed individuals find a “reason” to keep living.
Acts of Kindness can be simple and still make a difference to both the giver and receiver. In fact, little daily acts add up to a contagious wave that takes on a life of its own.
Want to see how Random Acts of Kindness can change lives?
Since R.O.S.E. stands for Respect for others, for yourself, and for your environment, naturally we have a few ideas you can apply to your life!
Respect is a fleeting thing that can be earned or lost, often purely by chance. Yet every human craves it. Next time you see someone who appears low, ask how they’re doing, or if they need water or food. Call them ma’am or sir if they are an appropriate age for that. They may not have heard those words in quite some time.
Others may need morale boosters or help with basic tasks. If you’re able, clear the snow off your neighbor's sidewalk, or pay someone to do it for them. Volunteer to pet-sit for a co-worker or neighbor. Give someone a sincere compliment every day.
Self: Give yourself some quality time. Decompress after stressful or busy stints. Watch something cathartic for a good laugh or cry. Read that book or give yourself more time to nap, sleep, or daydream.
Environment: In your daily life, ask yourself: “Am I leaving this environment better than I found it?” When you’re camping or picnicking, pack your trash out with you. Leave no trace. If you’ve spilled something in a public pace, always tidy up for the next person arriving.
When it comes to Random Acts of Kindness, leading by example is always a great place to start.
By educating youth in humane education, we are teaching them the value of kindness toward one another, animals, and the environment, and shaping attitudes toward different cultural and human rights issues.
Teach Heart provides students with an opportunity to integrate qualities such as compassion, tolerance, and integrity in their daily lives. These are traits that society undoubtedly needs for our future.
Whether you give this purchase to yourself or a friend, you’ll be helping others in ways that can change their lives. For more info on Teach Heart’s life-changing work with kids, check out their video below.