Kindness, The New Stimulus Package
--by BillK, posted Jul 26, 2009
Are you just plain sick of being bombarded by the media with the untold horrors and predictions of our impending doom? I've heard the words "Stimulus Package" so many times it doesn't even mean anything anymore.
I want to introduce a new kind of stimulus package that doesn't have a thing to do with the government: Kindness. What do you think would happen if everyone practiced being kind for just one day? I sure as heck know. The world as we know it would be transformed.
Impossible? Consider this: I organized a Kindness Challenge at a local arts and jazz festival in April. My goal was to remind people what happens when we practice being kind. It's a feeling most of us have forgotten. The challenge was to entice 100 people attending the festival to do 100 kind acts within 100 minutes. The result amazed everyone involved because when all was said and done, more than 130 people did over 400 kind acts in an hour! When we truly give kindness from the heart, BINGO, a new kind of stimulus package is born.
Kindness is contagious. It starts a ripple effect that has no limits. Each act of kindness is like dropping a stone into the water. First, the receiver of the kind act benefits. That person then gives back a smile, a hug, laughter, or some other positive response. So the giver also receives.
Then something truly amazing happens. Any person who simply witnessed the kind act also benefits. In Meaning & Medicine, author Dr Larry Dossey states helping others "can stimulate healthy responses in persons at a distance who may view it only obliquely." This witness may then be inspired to do a kind deed too, and the ripple effect could never end.
How can you start a stimulus package in your own world? 3 steps. First, feel gratitude for all the fine things in your life. Defy the media and change your perspective. Choose to see the good, and more of what's good will start to reveal itself to you. Second, spend as much time as you can doing the things you love. If you enjoy sitting on the porch and listening to the wind, spend more time doing it. If you love to listen to your favorite music, do that more often. Doesn't cost a thing! Third, practice being kind to yourself and others every single day. Model kindness and inspire others to do the same.
Change your mind; change the world.
The power of collective efforts; this time by small random acts of kindness.