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KINDNESS BEGETS KINDNESS
Many psychological studies have been done in the past decade on the positive affect that acts of kindness have on both the giver and the receiver. A random case study took place in Florida about 10 years ago when one driver, going through a toll booth, paid the toll of the car behind him. Because he already had his toll money in his hand, the recipient of that R. A. K. paid for the car behind him as well - and then the next, and the next and the next. The toll taker counted a string of 100 cars that followed suit until finally someone broke the chain of kindnesses.
You have no doubt had some kind stranger allow you to pull into a long line of traffic from a side street or driveway and then done the same for the next person waiting to break into that same line of traffic as well.
It's a pretty sure bet that Kindness is contagious - and it has very positive side affects. A recent study by Canadian psychologists has found that much of our joy comes from simply being nice. "And, it's got nothing to do with good manners or bad karma," according to the researchers. "Being kind to other people makes us happy, the study found, and gives us a sense of well-being a pair of Jimmy Choos can't provide"
Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you. Princess Diana
Random Acts of Kindness generally occur spontaneously, when we see someone struggling with something like a heavy door or package or has only one item to check out and it seems wise to let them go first. But you can also develop a mindset that allows for you to perform simple Acts of Kindness intentionally.
You can be kind to neighbors, friends and family members by doing simple chores or running errands that just make their lives easier. You can be kind to co-workers by helping them to complete their project in time for deadlines - or by bringing in goodies to be shared when the day gets long.
You can be kind to the environment by picking up trash, recycling useable items, buying recycled products and even planting trees.
You can be kind to those who silently serve you, police officers, firefighters, garbage collectors, military personnel, crossing guards, civil service employees - just by telling them that they are appreciated.
You can be kind to animals - cuddle your pets, feed the birds, put water down on hot days for stray dogs, play with the kittens and puppies at the local shelter, gather dog and cat food to go to elderly people who often have to choose between feeding themselves or their pets, volunteer for a pet rescue.
And one you probably forget - you can be kind to yourself instead of blaming yourself for past or current mistakes or working your body so hard that it hurts.
You can begin by making a list of little kindnesses that are easy for you to perform. If you need some suggestions, check the list below. The Law of Cause and Effect is an infallible Spiritual Law - the more kindesses you perform, the more you will receive, but not necessarily from the same place you gave your kindness. In fact, under the Law of Grace, you'll always receive more kindness than you give and from surprising places.
HERE ARE SOME SUGGESTIONS
To the Universe, to yourself, to others
Pick up some litter – clean a neighbor’s windshield – plant a tree – carry your neighbor’s newspaper up to the front door – buy a dog a bone – invite a co-worker to lunch – put a candy bar in a teen’s coat pocket – mail discount coupons for diapers to a new mother – deliver a home- cooked meal to someone who lives alone and stay to share it – let someone go ahead of you in the supermarket line – give another driver the nearest parking space – tell someone’s Boss that they gave good service – feed the birds – thank a public servant for a job well done – offer to do another family member’s weekly chore – call a friend and tell them that you appreciate their friendship – give your employee an unexpected afternoon off – give the bank teller a lollipop – buy yourself a small treat – deliver a plant to a shut in – read to a child – baby sit for a tired mother – invite your Boss to lunch – offer to walk your neighbor’s dog – recycle something – take a long, soothing bubble bath – smile at a stranger – buy a Happy Meal for a homeless person – buy a dozen carnations and pass them out at random – keep one carnation for yourself - visit a coffee shop and pay for the coffee for the next person who comes in – stop at a nursing home and visit a lonely person – read a classic bedtime story on tape and give it to the busy mother of a toddler – bring hot cocoa and doughnuts with you to the Laundromat – give a co-worker a mid-afternoon neck massage – over-tip a waitress – call someone who is homebound and chat for a while – thank a policeman for keeping your city safe – write a letter to a serviceman or woman over seas – take someone who no longer drives out for an ice cream cone – send a magazine subscription to a friend – bring Popsicles to work for a treat – fill the gas tank of your teenager’s car – buy yourself a decadent dessert – start a cat nip plant for a cat loving friend – teach a child a “knock-knock” joke – roll a pinecone in peanut butter and sunflower seeds and tie it to a tree for the birds – take a Polaroid camera to a Senior Center and take everyone’s picture – bless an ambulance driver - teach a child to make shadow pictures – bake heart-shaped cookies and give them away, even when it isn’t Valentines Day – leave a surprise thank you gift for your mail person – send a book of stamps and a box of note paper to someone who is homebound – buy yourself a fun novel – take a pot of fresh herbs to a good cook – add a cartoon to the office bulletin board – praise a teacher – write a complimentary letter to the Editor - use your best china and silver for your family tonight – or use your best china and silver for yourself – take pet toys to the animal shelter – Bless ten people every day.
This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. Dalai Lama