Kindness is Good for the Heart

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Call it a Valentine’s Day/National Heart Health Month/Random Acts of Kindness Week mashup. Today’s post for Day 4 of Random Acts of heart-shaped-tomato-random-acts-of-kindness-week-kindness-is-good-for-your-heartKindness Week is all about why kindness is good for your heart.

I always assumed that kindness is good not only for the world at large, but for us personally. I know for me I always feel good inside when I offer kindness from a true and pure place, not just emotionally, but spiritually, and physically. I get a little lift in my mood, and my step is a little lighter. I’ve extrapolated that since I feel good in the moment, something must be going on inside my body that is inherently healthy.

Turns out there is solid research that confirms that assumption. And that research not only points to a momentary benefit, but a long-lasting benefit of a healthier heart when kindness is practiced regularly. David R. Hamilton, Ph.D., author of Why Kindness is Good for You, says keeping up acts of kindness will reduce your risk of heart disease over time, at least a little. [Read more…]

Profiles in Kindness

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For Day 3 of Random Acts of Kindness Week, I’m sharing a few examples of people who are all about showing kindness to others.  They are Jacob-Goeders-Leukemia-Slayer-Santa-Slayer-Project-kindness-good-neighbor-storiespeople that see a need and try to fill it, and naturally feel compassion toward people facing difficult circumstances.

Take a moment to read about these kind folks, and consider where you might see a need that could be filled. In the meantime, you can try today’s Random Acts of Kindness Foundation assignment by reaching out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time. Circle back and let me know how it goes, or share any other act of kindness you perform or encounter.

There’s a link to the full story at the end of each profile. Also, take a look at my posts for Day 1 and Day 2 of Random Acts of Kindness Week 2013 for more inspiration.

Jacob Goeders

The first profile in kindness is a young man who is extremely pure in heart, and filled with courage despite the challenges he faces. He is Jacob Goeders, better known as The Leukemia Slayer.

Jacob is an 11-year-old boy in a multi-year battle with leukemia. I met Jacob back in December 2011 at a Christmas event for children with serious illnesses. He shared with me about how he asked his 2,000 friends on his Leukemia Slayer Facebook page to send in a $1 each, so he could buy presents for the other kids on the oncology ward. It seems he had been diagnosed the year before around Christmastime, and he knew how difficult it was to be stuck in the hospital undergoing painful treatments. [Read more…]

‘Random Acts of Kindness’ Has Bay Area Roots

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As we celebrate Day 2 of Random Acts of Kindness Week, it’s interesting to note that the term ‘random acts of kindness’, which is now so firmly planted in our collective cultural mind, was born right here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Writer and peace activist Anne Herbert is widely recognized as the person who coined the phrase, “Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.” She reportedly wrote the phrase on a Sausalito restaurant place mat in 1982 or 1983. Because it turned the well-used terms “random acts of violence” and “senseless acts of violence” on their heads, many people found it instantly inspiring. Before Internet memes, it became a popular saying on bumper stickers, posters, and more.

Thirty years later Random Acts of Kindness Week and Day are gaining popularity, with more and more people and organizations wanting to promote awareness of how important spreading kindness for kindness’ sake.

Yesterday’s assignment from the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation was to smile at 10 strangers. Today’s assignment: buy something for the person in line behind you. The above video will serve as the perfect inspiration. If you try it, let me know how it goes!

For more inspiration, see our Be Kind: Kindness Ideas Page.

 

Show a Little Kindness During Random Acts of Kindness Week 2013

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It’s time for Random Acts of Kindness Week, which is celebrated today through next Sunday, Feb. 17. Consider focusing a little time on showing kindness to others in either small or big ways, and join in on a national wave of spreading cheer.

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If you’re looking for some prompts to get you started, we have an entire page dedicated to kindness called Be Kind: Kindness Ideas. The page includes links to past articles I’ve posted on the topic, as well as links to organizations that feature hundreds of ideas. [Read more…]

26 Acts of Kindness Campaign Goes Viral

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A grassroots wave of people across the United States are performing millions of acts of kindness to honor the memory of the victims of the Dec. 26-acts-of-kindness-facebook-page-ann-curry-nbc-news14 mass shooting at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, CT., after a single tweet by a national journalist.

“Imagine if all of us committed to 20 mitvahs/acts of kindness to honor each child lost in Newtown. I’m in. If you are RT #20Acts,” was the tweet NBC News’ Ann Curry sent out soon after the shootings.

Within hours, thousands of people had tweeted in response; it quickly grew into 26 acts of kindness, to honor both the children and adults who died at the school. In a blog post, Curry said that there was some debate to make it 27 acts, to include Nancy Lanza, shooter Adam Lanza’s mother. Some even suggested making it 28, since Adam himself was struggling with mental illness.

The popular sentiment of 26 acts of kindness stuck, however, and over the last couple of weeks has gained in popularity. Besides the official 26 Acts of Kindness Facebook Page, many more unofficial pages, or pages for specific communities, are springing up. A Twitter account was also established, @26acts.

All over social media people are reporting their acts of kindness, from handing out cash to strangers, to paying for people’s coffee or meals, to baking cakes and cookies for others, to donating money to organizations, and much more.

If you’re feeling motivated to get involved in the 26 Acts of Kindness campaign, Good Neighbor Stories has a large number of ideas for you to choose from. Check out our Be Kind: Kindness Ideas or More Ways to be a Good Neighbor pages, or consider helping out one of the many organizations listed on our Be a Good Neighbor Page.

What acts of kindness will you perform to honor the children and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary? Tell us in comments!

 

It’s World Kindness Day! What Will You do to be Kind?

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Today around the world people are celebrating World Kindness Day, part of World Kindness Week, Nov. 12-18. What will you do to be

Courtesy of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation

kind to someone else today, or during this special week?

Here are five ways to show kindness today, and throughout the week:

  1. Do something simple today, like smiling at people you pass by, letting someone in on the roadway, contacting a friend going through a tough time to offer a cheery “hello”, or offering to pay the meal of the person behind you in the drive through lane. For even more kindness ideas, see the Good Neighbor Stories Be Kind: Kindness Ideas Page.
  2. Donate food for a holiday food drive, or support a local hunger program. Look for donation barrels for Second Harvest Food Bank at area stores and businesses, or consider donating a frozen turkey for Thanksgiving.  The Front Door Ministry of the First Presbyterian Church of San Jose serves bag lunches to around 45 homeless people each day.  You can help by donating things like paper and plastic bags, or individual-sized lunch items like sandwich cracker kits, fruit cups, bags of nuts, etc. [Read more…]