What have you done for others today?

Winston Churchill once said that “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Can you think of the last time someone asked you “What did you do for others today?” In a society that is constantly influencing us to put our needs in front of those around us, we all forget from time to time to ask this of ourselves, and of those around us. In a world that has struggled for centuries to find the recipe for happiness, the solution might be much simpler than previously thought.

Kindness and helping others is contagious and also good for us. Ex-scientist turned inspirational writer, David Hamilton writes that there is scientific evidence that kindness changes the brain, impacts the heart and immune system and may even be an antidote against the symptoms of depression. Hamilton’s book fuses scientific research around being kind with inspirational real-life examples of kindness from ordinary people. Our bodies are happiest and healthiest when we are being kind to those around us. When we give to others, it activates the areas in our brain that are associated with pleasure, social connections and trust.

Giving to others can take many forms. You can give of your time through volunteering, sharing your skills or focusing on a cause that you view as important. Sometimes just a simple smile at a stranger or holding the door open for someone is all it takes to help form the glue of kindness that connects the individuals in our communities. The miracle of kindness is, through its own chain reaction, your simple act that could positively affect someone you never even knew existed.

By instigating kindness, you will begin to perceive the world differently and you will be better for it. A true act of kindness or a gift to another person without any expectations allows you to give freely. Your actions will make you a happier, better person for it, and it just might be contagious. So go ahead, spread the disease. Here’s hoping we have an epidemic on our hands.

Character Lives