Besides being good for someone else, and good for the collective mental health of our country, turns out that acts of kindness are also good for your own health. Studies confirm that doing good boosts happiness and well-being and it doesn’t matter who you do the good deed for. From family member to stranger, even for yourself, the rewards you reap for kindness are blind to the recipient.
So the possibilities are endless. Look around—where, even on a small scale can you touch someone in a positive way?
My wife and I decided to get a head start on celebrating this holiday and distributed thank you cards to random neighbors who have provided some welcome entertainment on our daily Covid walks.
We left one in the mailbox of the family who has delighted us with their imaginative chalk art creations on their driveway. We pass by their home about once a week, and almost each time we’ve discovered a new theme: under-the-sea, outer space, stained glass. Who knows what inspired them! Maybe they were just bored. Maybe they wanted to give their kids a project to keep from going cabin crazy. Or maybe they wanted to entertain the passers-by who they knew would be grateful for anything that interjects a bit of discovery in a life that circumstances dictates needs to be fairly routine. That’s how their act of kindness touched us and we did what we could to touch back.
Another thank you card went to the home in the Rivergrove neighborhood that posts daily words of wisdom on an outdoor chalkboard. They usually have a humorous slant to them and we are always curious, when it’s our turn to walk down that street, what message will greet us. In talking with a neighbor, we discovered that this woman makes sure the messages get updated even when she’s gone. She apparently realizes what many of us need to be reminded of—what a difference one person can make, even with small acts of kindness.
The last card we dropped off went to neighbors in the Bryant Woods neighborhood who post two jokes on a tree in their front yard. Sometimes they’re funny enough that we take photos and send them to our kids. One of the better ones was a picture of a pilot parachuting outside one of his jet’s windows holding a sign that said, “I was your pilot but someone sneezed. Good luck!” Another was a photo of a bottle of Jack Daniels with a spray nozzle attached at the top and the message, “Anti-virus spray! Spray throat twice each hour.” We pass by this house once a week and they have yet to repeat. We applaud their dedication and their sense of humor.
The studies are right—each time we’ve dropped off one of our cards, we’ve felt a little better too. We like to think of kindness as a boomerang—you toss it out there and it comes back to you. Hopefully, our recipients felt the love. And hopefully, whomever you connect with next week does too.
And just a reminder: this Sunday, September 27 you can join in the Gallery Without Walls virtual celebration at 3:00 p.m. by signing up online. Tour the 14 new rotating pieces and listen to some of the artists talk about their work all from the comfort of your home!
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