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Nurturing Hearts & Noggins

Promoting academic, social, and emotional learning for lifelong success
The GKC

The Great Kindness Challenge


British writer, Henry James once said, "Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind." Well, this week thousands of students across the country are taking this to heart. They are participating in an amazing opportunity to be 'difference makers,' as they have accepted "The Great Kindness Challenge." The challenge allows young people to offer up tremendous doses of kindness throughout the week, while they learn about the numerous benefits of kindness, become conscientious of their actions toward others, and utilize their creativity to make a difference. For more information on this opportunity, be sure to check out: www.thegreatkindnesschallenge.com.

While the notion of kindness may seem second nature, simple or arbitrary to some, for others it takes intentionality and thought. However it comes about, it sure does pay dividends. So, let us turn the choice to be kind into a habit and reap the benefits. In several studies, scholars have found that kindness:

a.  May have profound long-term effects on our happiness
b.  Creates a virtuous cycle that promotes lasting happiness and altruism
c.  Positively impacts the emotional well-being of ourselves and others
d.  Benefits our psychological neural circuitry... in other words, it is really good for the brain
e.  It is contagious.  It inspires kindness in others

With benefits like those, please feel free to pay me in kindness any day. Although it is unrealistic to think that each day we are going to wake up in a great mood, ready to take on the day with kindness. However, when we make kindness a part of our everyday lives, it becomes a part of the innate spirit of who we are. When we offer kindness, we contribute to a world that is less harsh, less critical, less unforgiving, less ungrateful, less happy, and more joyful. Offering kindness is a wonderful way to nurture the hearts and noggins of others, but it does your body good as well.

Feel free to start simple:

a.  Smile and say hello to random people you see or pass by
b.  Say 'thank you' to public service officials and workers
c.  Pay for the order of the car behind you in the drive-thru (I did this one yesterday, and it felt AMAZING!)
d.  Offer to allow someone to go ahead of you in the store check-out lane
e.  Shovel your neighbor's driveway

Ok, I just offered up a few ideas to get started. So, are you ready? On your mark, get set, GO KINDNESS!

 

 

Resources:

1. http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/is_kindness_really_its_own_reward

2. http://www.rcgd.isr.umich.edu/news/Brown.Psych Science.May 09.pdf

3. https://helix.northwestern.edu/article/kindness-contagious-new-study-finds



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