Why Kindness Matters Random Acts of Kindness Pay it Forward Kindness Kind Acts

In today’s difficult economic times, it is often hard to think about the simplicity of showing kindness to our family, friends, or colleagues at work. However, a simple act of kindness has the potential to create a chain reaction. One simple act of kindness shown to one person may fill that person with gratitude and the desire to be kind to someone else along life’s path.

The concept of pay it forward was first introduced to me through a movie that I saw a few years ago. A boy decided to start a campaign of kindness where one person was kind to another, and that person repaid the favor by being kind to a different person, thus creating a chain reaction of kindness. Television hosts and country songs also often mention performing random acts of kindness to strangers. Recently, there have been news reports of one town that has started a tradition at the local coffee shop. The person at the head of the line pays for the next person’s order, and this continues all the way to the end of the line. This type of kindness gives everyone a feeling of hope and gratitude that might otherwise be missing, especially in this struggling economy.

Showing kindness to others also helps to foster positive emotions, both in the giver and the receiver. It is often stated that those who help others feel that they have been blessed more by their generosity than those have received the help. When people feel positive and have some hope about their own situation in life, it often also creates the desire to help someone else in the same manner.

Some years ago, I heard a well known motivational speaker discuss what he called the kick the cat theory. He was explaining how our actions created a chain reaction throughout our daily lives. His example was that a husband and wife argued and the husband kicked the cat in anger on his way out the door. When he got behind the wheel of the car, he was still upset and honking his horn at other drivers. Perhaps he cut another driver off on the freeway, which angered the other driver, and when he got to work, he yelled at his secretary. The secretary became upset and answered the phone in a rude way, which angered the person on the other end of the phone. In this example, the result of the angry reactions that had begun that morning affected many people throughout the day. Sometimes, we don’t realize how our actions and reactions affect others around us.

Not only do negative reactions and actions affect others, so do positive ones. Showing kindness to others may affect them more deeply than you will ever know.. Perhaps that woman whose tire you changed earlier that day was rushing to the bedside of a gravely ill relative. Maybe you bought a local paper for a man in front of your office building one morning, and while it may have seemed like a small, insignificant gesture, that man might have needed the paper in order to find a new job because he had just been laid off. In both cases, those people may have found the strength and courage to show a small act of kindness to someone else that day, creating a positive chain reaction of kind deeds.

Kindness matters, and if we will take the time to show kindness to others on a daily basis, we wil all be blessed for it.