Wednesday, 15 May 2013

THE POWER OF KINDNESS THROUGH KIND ACTS




It’s a simple title: “The Power of Kindness – The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life” by author Piero Ferrucci. It is a thoughtful book that shares why doing kind acts leads to a happier existence, and, let’s face it, makes the world a nicer place.

I am fortunate enough to see the power of kindness first hand. Along with my fellow kindness coach, Ivy Sims, I go into schools and talk about this strong component of character education through kindness workshops. It’s an honor and my favorite activity is when the kids write complimentary words about their classmates and in witnessing the beaming face of a child being told something nice about them by his or her peer. We don’t hear compliments enough.

It’s also a proven fact that encouraging this type of character education makes a difference. In a longitudinal experiment conducted in 19 classrooms in Vancouver, 9- to 11-year olds were instructed to perform three acts of kindness (versus visit three places) per week over the course of 4 weeks. Students improved in well-being, and there was a difference in the tone of the classroom.

Speaking of the power of small actions, it was heart-warming to read about some well-known people using their celebrity to make a difference in others’ lives. First, I read about former NHL player Bob Lemieux who experienced 7 concussions during his career and has spoken out about the physical and mental damage and is donating his brain for research so scientists can learn the toll the tough sport takes on athletes:

As well, Blue Jay pitcher, R.A. Dickey used his celebrity to raise over 1000,00 to fight the exploitation of children in India’s sex trade: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/baseball/ra-dickey-has-a-heart-for-the-vulnerable/article11875838/

The book even demonstrates, via scientific research, what can happen with generous actions: , ‘…kind people are healthier and live longer,  are more popular and productive, have greater success in business, and are happier than others.’

Ultimately, The Power of Kindness http://www.amazon.com/Power-Kindness-Unexpected-Benefits-Compassionate/dp/1585425885 and the generosity that occurred this past week reminds me that a single act of kindness can make all the difference to one person or to many. One is enough.

 I leave you with a song by the melodic songstress Natalie Merchant simply entitled “Kind and Generous”
It’s a thank you to someone and, perhaps, to all of you who reach out to help others in their daily lives. I salute you!

Steffi Black Coaching
www.steffiblackcoaching.com
steffiblack@gcylaw.com