Originally posted August 10th,2012, this was one of the most popular posts of 2012. I can think of no better way to start a New Year than initiating positive change.
While we don’t have to go to the same extreme as Honica Brittman, each of us has the power to start a chain reaction of kindness every day.
This story touched my heart and will touch yours too. 5 Kidney transplants changed 5 lives forever, each of those undoubtedly setting off more chain reactions of kindness.
Sonja Lyubomirsky, a Professor of Psychology at Stanford tested whether asking people to “commit” five random acts of kindness would reliably increase their level of positive emotion. (Lyubomirsky et al, 2004). These were her instructions:
“In our daily lives, we all perform acts of kindness for others. These acts may be large or small and the person for whom the act is performed may or may not be aware of the act. Examples include feeding a stranger’s parking meter, donating blood, helping a friend with homework, visiting an elderly relative, or writing a thank you letter. One day each week, you are to perform five acts of kindness. The acts do not need to be for the same person, the person may or may not be aware of the act, and the act may or may not be similar to the acts listed above. Do not perform any acts that may place yourself or others in danger.”
The study found it did increase positive emotion. And it is most effective if all five acts are carried out on the same day.
5 transplants, 5 lives changed, 5 random acts of kindness – all making a difference.
What 5 actions will you take today to start the New Year?