Magic of kindness

On this mental wellbeing day, I would like to share an act of kindness I experienced few months back. I was traveling to Amsterdam for work via Dubai. While boarding the Emirates flight, I realized that the ramp wasn’t going to the upper deck of Airbus 380. We had to take the stairway from the main deck.

Yes, barely 10-12 steps… but I have difficulty climbing stairs. It gets even more difficult if I have luggage. The cabin crew were all busy. So, I just picked up my bag and started to climb slowly, conscious that I may inconvenience passengers behind me. Few seconds later, someone just took my bag and assured me to go slow, “take your time, there’s no hurry at all”. It was a woman’s voice. I didn’t turn back as I climbed carefully, so I assumed it’s someone from the cabin crew (that’s my unconscious bias!).

Upon reaching the upper deck, I turned back to thank the air hostess. That’s when I realized a co-passenger had helped me. She just smiled and went on to her seat.

I would have carried my bag, albeit going little more slowly. I had done it several times before (and will do many more times in future). But this stranger’s act of kindness warmed my heart that day, no… the whole trip.

We have all experienced or done such acts of kindness. Kindness, doesn’t matter big or small, has magical power! Research has demonstrated that it creates huge positive energy all around.

It impacts the wellbeing of at least three people: the person who does it, one who receives it and the person who observes it, even if he / she is a silent spectator. Even recalling a memory of kindness triggers happiness (as is the case for me while narrating this story).

There is science behind it: kindness stimulates production of serotonin, the feel-good chemical that calms us and makes us happy. Yes, the same chemical which is present in anti-depressants. Watching acts of kindness produces oxytocin which increases our self-esteem and optimism.

Many a times, we think that kindness needs to be something big, something which only saints like Mother Theresa can perform. Each one of us have the power to be kind in our own way. And create positive energy and be the catalysts for emotional wellbeing! What’s your resolve to further emotional wellbeing – for yourself and others around you?

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