Act Kindly, Be Caring
Kindness is not a simple human manner. It has a lot of importance in human society. Kindness could be displayed at a personal as well as a societal level.
Kindness could be small or big, tangible or intangible, and monetary or charitable. Hence, you can act kindly to others and be caring to them. You would feel better at your heart, healthier with your body, and joyful in your mind.
The Science of Kindness and Caring
As per most scientific studies, there is strong evidence that the act of kindness has a “feel better” effect on you.
When you display any act of kindness, your body releases oxytocin, a chemical substance that is also known as the “love hormone”.
Oxytocin is generally secreted in your body when you are physically intimate with your partner or others. It is also produced when a mother breastfeeds her baby.
Oxytocin is associated with bonding love, trust friendliness, and positivity. It also helps in lowering blood pressure.
So, you can understand how any act of kindness and caring could do wonders for your physical and mental wellbeing.
Dopamine is a kind of neurotransmitter. It is created in your body that helps in transmitting messages between your nerve cells.
In simple terms, it helps you in thinking wisely and planning. It is a “feel-good” chemical in your brain that is also known as a chemical messenger.
Apart from the above two chemicals, if you act kindly, your body produces serotonin that could help in regulating your mood.
The Art and Act of Caring
The art and act of caring has a lot of positive impacts on re-discovering relationships, re-reading reciprocations, and re-assuring humanism.
If you believe in God, then you might have heard the term “tu palan karta” which means “you are the caretaker who fosters, cares, and nourishes us”.
Mothers, known as the second creator, after the almighty, are known for their perennial act of caring and love towards their children.
When I write this, it reminds me of a famous quote from Rudyard Kipling, i.e. –
“God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.”
Nursing is often associated with the act of caring. The term nurse is derived from the nutrire, a Latin word that denotes to suckle.
In the older days, the term nurse was used to mean wet nurse. But later, the term evolved to mean anybody who takes care of a sick person.
Dr. Jean Watson, a nurse theorist and an author from the USA once said –
“Maybe this one moment, with this one patient is the very reason we’re here on earth at this time.”
Caring has been a part and parcel of human society for ages. Even it is seen in the animal kingdom as well. Caring is generally associated with a better, rational, and advanced human being.
How one Act of Kindness could make a Positive Change in Others?
There are different ways you can act kindly and show your care for others.
Sometimes one act of kindness, even if it is small and simple could bring serenity to others’ life. It could prove to be a changing point in others’ life.
If you go through the pages of history, you could find several examples of acts of kindness shown by different people. All of them were not rich and powerful. Some of them were very poor, differently-abled, and illiterate.
During the Corona outbreak, you might have heard about the kindness shown by people to persons in need.
From beggars to Bollywood actors, from individuals to big organizations, and from remotest villages to metropolitan cities, the act of kindness could change the lives of others.
A Real-Life Example of one Act of Kindness
I would like to mention here an example from my own life.
Nearly two decades ago, I was undergoing a bad phase in my life. My Ph.D. degree was hampered due to the 1999 super cyclone that had badly hit the Odisha coast. My doctoral research study area was badly damaged by the cyclone.
It affected my research as there was hardly any difference between the rich and poor, developed and underdeveloped areas in my study region. The cyclone had made all of them similar.
My doctoral research had an assumption that there was a socio-economic difference among people in the study area. The cyclone along with some other issues damaged my dream to earn a Ph.D. degree although I was a UGC research fellow.
At that time, I was applying for an advanced Master’s degree programme at the Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand.
For three consecutive years, I was not able to get a full scholarship although I was selected for admission. I was getting a partial (fifty percent) scholarship. My family was unable to pay the rest of the amount (around 0.5 million Indian Rupees).
I badly wanted a full scholarship so that I could pursue that degree at AIT as my Ph.D. degree was unfinished. I was sending emails randomly to different unknown persons who were working at AIT to know, the reason behind not getting a full scholarship.
In 2001, a kind person who was working at AIT made one simple act of kindness to me. He mailed me back with a bit of simple advice. He advised me to change the subject that I was applying for.
Accordingly, I applied for an MS degree in Urban Environmental Management instead of Rural & Regional Planning. It matched my background and fortunately, I got a full scholarship.
I went to AIT, Bangkok to earn that degree which opened up new avenues in my career. I am still thankful to that person for his one simple act of kindness i.e. providing me with a piece of information that changed my career and life altogether.
Different Ways to Act Kindly and Display Care for Others
You can act kindly and be caring in various ways such as by:
- Donating blood to a patient
- Smiling at an unknown person
- Taking an accident victim to a nearby hospital
- Providing a pair of shoes to a mining worker
- Donating your books to a poor student
- Counseling a sex worker about HIV Aids disease
- Volunteering for an NGO working for waste collectors
- Helping a student from a poor family to pay his/her tuition fees
- Consoling a person who has lost his/her friend or family member
- Providing a meal for a beggar, who is unsure about his/her next meal
- Spending some time with a lonely person, even if he/she is from a rich family
- Purchasing a movie ticket for a movie enthusiast who is unable to go to a movie theater
The list is unending as you can show an act of kindness in whatever way that helps somebody “feel good” in some way or other.
Kindness and caring towards others is a noble act that gives you more dividends than your investment. Any act of kindness could bring happiness to your life. It provides both physical and mental well-being in you and the life of the recipient of your kindness and care.
So, why should you wait for tomorrow to act kindly and be caring which could change someone’s life for the better and bring cheerfulness to your own life?
Act today and become a noble person in your neighborhood and society!!!