A time to be kind

Hoof-in-Hand

Smile at a stranger, help an elderly person across the road, clean up litter or help an animal in need. Whilst none of these things are obligatory, they certainly present us with opportunities to evoke one of our most noble qualities, that of kindness. Born into this world incomplete, vulnerable and needy, right from the get go, we humans all need, want and flourish with kindness. It could be well said we are hardwired for kindness. The great naturalist and biologist Charles Darwin too recognized this. Although his name is so often synonymous with “survival of the fittest”, Darwin postulated that groups of individuals who looked out for one another were more successful in raising their young, ensuring their genes could go on to raise more offspring. However, science now tells us that the benefits of kindness go beyond this, benefiting both the recipient of the kind gesture as well as the dispenser of it.

Kindness simply feels good—known as the “helper’s high”, kindness increases our energy, our happiness, our lifespan and our pleasure, along with the hormones oxytocin and serotonin, whilst decreasing our pain, stress, anxiety, depression and blood pressure. Another spin-off from acts of kindness is that it is contagious, firing off in the brains of those witnessing the act.

With World Kindness Day fast approaching (November 13th), there can be no better time than now to kick-start our kindness barometer by exercising kindness towards the most vulnerable and least heard amongst us: animals. Looking for ideas how? Here’s a short list:

And remember, you don’t always have to be right, but we are indeed hardwired to be kind.

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6 thoughts on “A time to be kind

  1. I find your articles enjoyable to read but more importantly, thought provoking and inspirational. Thanks for taking the time and effort to motivate others in a positive way. Cheers Chris

  2. Kindness. Yes if there was more subjective kindness thinking, one would feel great & then this has a rippling effect. I only wish I knew/felt that way years ago! I also believe that if we tell ourselves we are…a lovely lady or man if applicable, then we find “life” is much kinder & people respond to this. God Bless you & all the animals.

  3. You are so right, Pam. I have been the recipient of a random act of kindness and it still brings a feeling of goodwill and warmth.
    And I am always kind to animals

  4. I very much enjoy reading about your sanctuary and all the animals. The work that you do is wonderful and I know how exhausting and draining it can be but also how rewarding it must be. I am a volunteer animal advocate with the ASPCA in the State of Nevada in the US. Whenever I feel despair or just get plain fed up with the human race your blog helps me remember that there are kind humans everywhere who do good deeds and are trying to make a better world for all living beings. Thank you.

  5. Simple things are often the most profound. Just stroking a dog with nearly always an enthusiastic response is a real feel good factor. Here in North Wales people smile at each other all the time and it is so beneficial that coming back from a simple trip to the supermarket with a few jokes -not very good ones in my case-makes me feel good and hopefully the staff of the shop’.

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