How Your Kindness Helps Others

In the last post of this end of year series under the banner of #LetKindnessIn I asked whether Kindness really matters? In this post I will look at the many ways that kindness can impact on those around us.

Kindness is Contagious

One simple act of kindness act gives rise to others.

For whatever reason, when someone is kind to us, we can’t help but feel an added burst of helpfulness and sympathy for the next person we encounter.

One such incident, which took place in Florida back in 2014, occurred when one person paid for the coffee of the person behind them in a drive-thru line. This inspired people to do the same for the next person behind them – over and over again. By the end of the day, 378 people had ‘paid it forward’ by purchasing the coffee for the next person in line.

It was an unprecedented act of kindness which lasted for more than 11 hours, proving that indeed, a single act of kindness can truly bring out the best in us.

Connects Us to Others

When we are kind to another human being, we meet them on an entirely different plane than we would ordinarily. We find in this mutual moment of sympathetic understanding, just how good it feels to reach out and be touched in return.

We find ourselves feeling more intimately connected with the world around us. This is an effect which can even become long-lasting, as the memory of the kindness is carried within both parties, sometimes for years afterwards.

Makes Every Battlefield More Tolerable

We have no idea what someone else is going through. Even at our most sympathetic, we don’t always understand the pain and fear someone else might be facing.

But regardless of our own understanding of the situation, our kind actions do have a lasting impact: They make whatever the other person is going through at least a little more tolerable. To the person in need, a single act of kindness becomes a tangible reminder that they are not alone.

Kindness becomes the unspoken sympathy, the reverent act of being lifted over the hard places and carried a little further along the way. Sometimes kindness is what makes it possible to go on.

Creates Ripples

Sometimes we will never know just how far an act of kindness can go. Much like the story of the butterfly on the mountaintop who fluttered her wings and created a hurricane, so too will the act of kindness continue to ripple out far beyond the original act.

Because of your act of kindness, you brightened someone’s day. Which meant that as the person’s day was brightened, they made a positive decision they might not have otherwise made.

Because of that decision, someone else’s life changed As a result that person’s life changed, they were perhaps kind to someone else.  You never know where it might end.

Gives Voice to Others

When someone is going through a difficult time, they find it harder to speak up for themselves, especially when it comes to enunciating their needs.

A kind act can then become their voice, either in giving the other person the ability to speak up or in speaking for them when they’re unable. Either way, the result is the same. The other person gains the experience of having been heard and feels as though their voice really does matter.

Kindness Heals

When we are hurt, we tend to pull in on ourselves and hide. Kindness is what draws out a person who’s wounded and lets them know they’re not alone.

More than that, continued kindness has a healing effect, as it helps the other person to move past the damaging event and finds not only forgiveness but love and acceptance from the world around them.

Teaches the Next Generation

Whatever we do, we are being observed. Children mimic what they see. When the adults around them are kind, they too learn to show kindness. Think about what it means when your actions become the lessons your children take into adulthood.

Kindness Loves

In all of this, the most important takeaway of how kindness impacts others is summed up here. When you’re kind to another human being, you’re showing them, they are worthy of it. You’re extending to them a sweetness of understanding that can only be called love. This is truly a beautiful thing.

At the same time, kindness changes our own lives for the better. When we start showing kindness to ourselves, everything changes more positively. Look at some of these facts, backed up by numerous scientific studies regarding the positive benefits of kindness experienced by the giver.

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