The Country singer Glen Campbell was popular for singing a song entitled, “Try a Little Kindness”. It was a song about reaching out to those that were having a hard day or in harm’s way. The catch phrase in that song was “if you try a little kindness you will overlook the blindness of the narrow-minded people on the narrow minded streets.”
This was a song that gave hope to everyone because kindness is a delicacy if you will. Everyone wants some kindness and very often everyone will give some kindness out but the song speaks volumes in that kindness is rare and the singer is asking you and me to try one more time, help someone today.
I would propose to you in this writing the same idea. Try a little kindness the next time you go out your door into the world. My Mentor Zig Ziglar use to say that there were millions of people in this world that went to bed hungry every night but there were many millions more that went to bed hungry every night for a little encouragement and I add they are hungry for a little kindness.
We don’t always know what the other person is going through or the turmoil they have just been delivered from. Death and destruction is around the next turn for each of us or maybe we are on the wrong road to begin with. Choices that we make or choices that a spouse or friend makes will often lead us into a downhill plunge. When we pass someone on the street, just as that song says, we are passing by those individuals that need some kindness and hope.
I would propose to you that you also “Try a Little Kindness”. In the scriptures of the New Testament Bible it says that Kindness is a Fruit of the Spirit. What is kindness and what is it not? Well, kindness is not a natural behavior of humans. Greed is natural, survival is natural, attraction to others is a law of nature for many reasons but simple kindness to the stranger or the one in need is not natural. So how would we describe the idea of being kind?
Kindness is simply doing good for others without expecting anything back in return. While that may seem selfless it really isn’t because there are many returns for being kind. The first return that a person sees when he or she proves to be kind is the benefit of the Golden Rule, “do to others as you would have others to do for you.” I don’t know how it happens but when you begin to be kind to others, something happens and you notice that others are kind to you.
Take for instance the day that I decided to hold the door for my co-workers in the rain. Everyone was rushing for the door and the rain was coming down, we were all getting soaked and just as I arrived at the door and my inner-man spoke and said, “go on in Eddie and let the others fend for themselves”, that’s when I decided to be the overcomer and I defeated that inner-man. I stood in the rain and held the door open for the others. Sure I got wet and cold but the feeling that I got when each one of them said thank you and they waited on me as I was the last one inside and as we walked together in a group there was a special bond that we had. Each one told the other to have a nice day as we dropped off at our offices. Kindness pays you back in like ways.
When we harness this Kindness Ability, here is what happens immediately:
Other people are lifted up, they smile, they feel good about themselves and they want to share an act of kindness with someone else
So then, you have immediately improved the world.
There is an article from Dartmouth .edu that points to some life changing events. https://www.dartmouth.edu/wellness/emotional/rakhealthfacts.pdf
- Being kind at any level produces pain killing endorphins.
- Kind individuals who practice kindness continually have 23% less cortisol (The stress hormone) and they age slower than the average population.
- David Hamilton says acts of kindness create emotional warmth which produces Oxytocin which dilates the blood vessels and is therefore a cardioprotective hormone as it protects the heart. This hormone also is called the Love Hormone and increases our self-esteem and optimism.
I stand exactly 5 foot and 5 and 1/2″ tall but on a day that I am kind I stand almost 5′ 7″. There is some truth in that friends because when we feel good about ourselves and proud of our actions we stand taller. In the other direction when we are feeling down and depressed or guilty for our actions we tend to slump and this compresses our spinal cord. Now that in itself is a medical observance that affects our health, our blood flow and our stress level. So to feel better, you should honestly “Try a Little Kindness.”