How to Practice Random Acts of Kindness29 November 2020
Yesterday, Timi Dakolo pulled kindness stunts on 8 couples at their wedding ground.
I might not exactly know what inspired him to go all out yesterday to do free shows for newly wed couples in Abuja, but it became noteworthy on social media.
As professionals, we do what we do, first, for the joy of doing it, second, as a trade off (exchange) for money (income), third, as legacy (for few).
However, it gets to a point, the money part, takes all the attention. Some people even believe, “let’s get the money, the money will bring the joy later”.
Whatever it is for you, let’s always remember that, there is always that unexplainable joy/happiness when you really love what you do whether you are doing it for money, for free, or for legacy purpose.
That said, back to Timi Dakolo, what he did yesterday, brought unquantifiable joy to those couples.
Truth be told, as I watch, my eyes were misty; teary with joy. I could see the couples too, they were surprised, humbled, and felt honoured and blessed.
Few years ago, I read the story of a man in Reader’s Digest who did random acts of kindness. After I read that story, random acts of kindness took a new turn in my life.
In the story, if the man is at a place buying an ice cream for himself, and he spots two kids behind him close by, he would buy 3 cones of ice cream and give two away without waiting to be appreciated. That is just a simple example. There were different things the man did.
There was a day I boarded a tricycle in a town. While still talking with the driver, a lady from the hausa extraction, gave the driver my fare and walked away without seemingly waiting for me to thank her.
There are numerous random acts of kindness that I have receive and I have also given.
Do you practice, deliberately, random acts of kindness?
What if one day you bring a clean, beautiful meal for that man or woman that begs for alms at that junction to you work place?
I have seen someone do this before. While I was going out with a young lady, at a particular time, she cooked and took a meal to a destitute at a bus stop where the destitute lived.
I know there are many acts of random kindness that don’t get media or social media attention like that of the celebrities. Because they don’t become viral doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do them.
Don’t do them for the media attention, do them because you want to do them.
Check here for 103 inspirations of random acts of kindness – https://www.bradaronson.com/acts-of-kindness/
You can also check out Psychology Today article on 16 Easy Random Acts of Kindness to Practice Today here – https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/changepower/201711/16-easy-random-acts-kindness-practice-toda
Here are four ways on how to practice your random acts of kindness:
1. Make it a habit – Once it becomes a habit for you, it becomes part of your life. Once it becomes part of your life, you don’t struggle to do it, it comes naturally.
2. Make it simple – it doesn’t have to complex, or complicated. Just some very simple acts like buying N50 popcorn for that young man that you don’t know. Or seeing a you g man buying a popcorn and you are beside him also about purchasing yours, you can just tell him, “Go, I will pay for it”. It is that simple.
3. Let it be unexpected – when people who don’t expect certain deeds from you get them, they are surprised and blown away. For instance, giving a N5,000 notes to a beggar who always expect N20 or maximum N100, that would be mind blowing.
Or, going down to sit with a beggar and talk with him like a friend would surprising for such.
4. Do it for the underserving – Do it for those who may not be able to pay you back. Do it for those you don’t expect anything from. Do it because you want to do it. Do it not because you want fame. Do it, not because you want it to be talked about. Like Nike, just do it!
BENEFITS OF RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS
According to https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/the-science-of-kindness, here re some benefits of random acts of kindness:
1. The Love Hormone
Witnessing acts of kindness produces oxytocin, occasionally referred to as the ‘love hormone’ which aids in lowering blood pressure and improving our overall heart-health. Oxytocin also increases our self-esteem and optimism, which is extra helpful when we’re anxious or shy in a social situation. Natalie Angier, The New York Times.
“About half of participants in one study reported that they feel stronger and more energetic after helping others; many also reported feeling calmer and less depressed, with increased feelings of self-worth” Christine Carter, UC Berkeley, Greater Good Science Center.
A 2010 Harvard Business School survey of happiness in 136 countries found that people who are altruistic—in this case, people who were generous financially, such as with charitable donations—were happiest overall.
“People who volunteer tend to experience fewer aches and pains. Giving help to others protects overall health twice as much as aspirin protects against heart disease. People 55 and older who volunteer for two or more organizations have an impressive 44% lower likelihood of dying early, and that’s after sifting out every other contributing factor, including physical health, exercise, gender, habits like smoking, marital status and many more. This is a stronger effect than exercising four times a week or going to church.” Christine Carter, Author, “Raising Happiness; In Pursuit of Joyful Kids and Happier Parents”.
According to research from Emory University, when you are kind to another person, your brain’s pleasure and reward centers light up, as if you were the recipient of the good deed—not the giver. This phenomenon is called the “helper’s high.”
Like most medical antidepressants, kindness stimulates the production of serotonin. This feel-good chemical heals your wounds, calms you down, and makes you happy! Talya Steinberg, Psy.D for Psychology Today.
The website went further to say,
Engaging in acts of kindness produces endorphins—the brain’s natural painkiller! Lizette Borreli, Medical Daily.
Perpetually kind people have 23% less cortisol (the stress hormone) and age slower than the average population! Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 1998.
A group of highly anxious individuals performed at least six acts of kindness a week. After one month, there was a significant increase in positive moods, relationship satisfaction and a decrease in social avoidance in socially anxious individuals. University of British Columbia Study.
Stephen Post of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine found that when we give of ourselves, everything from life satisfaction to self-realization and physical health is significantly improved. Mortality is delayed, depression is reduced and well-being and good fortune are increased. Dr. Stephen Post, Ph.D. bioethics professor, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Committing acts of kindness lowers blood pressure. According to Dr. David R. Hamilton, acts of kindness create emotional warmth, which releases a hormone known as oxytocin. Oxytocin causes the release of a chemical called nitric oxide, which dilates the blood vessels. This reduces blood pressure and, therefore, oxytocin is known as a “cardioprotective” hormone. It protects the heart by lowering blood pressure.
For me, the major benefits of random acts of kindness is that IT CREATES CYCLE OF KINDNESS.
Start practicing random acts of kindness, today.