Every year in February, the Caring and Sharing Exchange launches Kindness week in Ottawa. Throughout the week, they recognize citizens who have participated in exceptional acts of kindness and share your kind stories within the community. Kindness is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. The West Team believes in practicing genuine kindness everyday, everywhere and to everyone. Here are some reasons to practice kindness.
Kindness makes people happier. You don’t necessarily need to change someone’s life to be kind. Small acts are meaningful for the person who receives them. Paying someone a compliment is good. So is holding a door for someone or helping a neighbour to carry their shopping bags. The small things that bring a smile can be very powerful.
When we bond with people, which we naturally do when we show kindness, a hormone is released that dilates our blood vessels and counteracts the free radicals implicated in heart disease. For decades, research has suggested that people with positive emotions may live longer and healthier lives.
The most obvious benefit of kindness is that you make others feel good. And in making others feel good, you inspire them to want to do something kind for you or for someone else. When you commit a kind act, those around you will take note and your kindness can have a ripple effect. Start that ripple now by being kind to those around you.
Kindness is something we can all engage in, anytime and anywhere. Kindness is a choice. It doesn’t need to cost money. You may not fully realize it, but every single moment of your life, you have the choice to choose to act with kindness.
The purpose of kindness is to make a difference in someone else’s day. And kindness can indeed make a big difference. In caring and nurturing school environments, for example, children and youth are more likely to excel. By the same token, several studies show that kind and caring work environments have a positive impact on the productivity of employees.
Share Your Story with the Caring and Sharing Exchange
Do you have a story about an act of kindness that you witnessed, performed, or received? Help inspire kindness across our city by sharing it here.