This is truth that kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.
Researchers have discovered that even a tiny slice of happiness can cause a chain reaction of goodwill.
This is the kind of thing we see in our lives. Think back to the last time someone did something nice for you - maybe a loved one made you a dinner after a long day or a co-worker congratulated you on a job well done. How did it make you feel? It probably brightened your day and made you want to return the favour.
This is the cycle of reciprocity - the idea that by reaching out, we can create enough positive energy to encourage others to do the same. It doesn't take long for one simple act to snowball into something much larger.
This energy is called gratitude. Psychologists say that people who regularly feel thankful - are happier, healthier and more concerned about the welfare of others.
When we reach out, we leave our mark and set a great example.
In our society, where lives are rushed and most people are "strangers" to us, many people find it difficult to find time to reach out. At the same time, the old adage "In order to help others, you must first help yourself" creates a "me first" mentality.
What we have learned is that when you help others, you also help yourself - it's not a matter of first and second. By giving back to your community through simple good deeds, you create a sense of abundance in which you feel grateful not only for what you have, but also for what you give. It's an abundance of motivation, happiness and satisfaction.
This can take as little as a few minutes and doesn't have to cost any money. Here are 8 simple actions you can take to make a difference.
Share your skills by mentoring a young person who is interested in your field of work.
- Reward a single parent in your neighbourhood with a much-deserved night off by offering to babysit for free.
- Help a person in need this summer -by collecting your old clothes and donating them to a local homeless shelter.
- Care your friend with kindness by making cold drinks to share at school or work on a hot day.
- Give a gift that keeps on giving by making a charitable donation on behalf of a loved one.
- Set an example for others by offering your seat and a smile to an elderly person or pregnant woman on the bus/train.
- Leave a pleasant surprise for the person behind you in line at the second cup or local coffee shop by paying for their order.
- Lend a helping hand by cutting grass of an elderly neighbour.
- Show your gratitude by thanking your bus driver or the server where you buy your morning bagel.
These actions, and others like these require us to make small decisions every day: Will I stop to help? Will I give back? What kind of world do I want to live in? What we choose will determine the impact we have.
Put together, these decisions define the legacy we leave. Making the world a better place doesn't only mean inventing a new gadget or leading a political party. It means touching the lives of the people around you.
So let's commit to changing other people's lives, one gesture at a time. All it takes is a few minutes.
"Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together"
"Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless"