Speak Lord; I’m Listening – Daily Bite-Size Encouragement – Day 18
A kind act is a good deed suitable for both the recipient’s and the giver’s health.
Kind Acts Make Us Healthier
A kind deed “affects our health and gives us the ‘helper’s high’ which can even increase our longevity. When we perform good deeds, others feel greater comfort, less stress.”
Dr. Stephen Post, a professor of bioethics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, headed 50 scientific studies through The Institute for Research on Unlimited Love. They found that volunteer work helped volunteers live longer, and the effect was more beneficial than exercising four times a week. And they found that those who expressed positive emotions lived ten years longer than those who expressed few feelings.
Even watching a movie of kind acts, such as seeing good deeds done by Mother Teresa, positively affected the immune system for up to an hour afterward. A “care-and-connection that shows a profound state of joy and delight in the brain that comes from giving to others. And as this behavior is rewarded, it is reinforced. And this generosity affects our neurology, endocrinology, and immunology.”1
“These studies indicate that we’re dealing with something that’s extremely powerful. Ultimately, the process of cultivating a positive emotional state through pro-social behaviors – being generous – may lengthen your life.” ~Dr. Stephen Post
Being kind and generous, warm and loving, nurturing and helpful fosters a gentleness and tenderness that touches the recipient’s and giver’s hearts emotionally and physically.
“If we cast out negative emotions that are clearly associated with stress – cast them out with the help of positive emotions. All the great spiritual traditions and the field of positive psychology are emphatic on this point – that the best way to get rid of bitterness, anger, rage, jealousy is to do unto others in a positive way.” ~Dr. Stephen Post
A positive way can be a kind act or good deed or even an act of forgiveness to someone who has wronged us.
A Kind Deed Equals Goodness
A kind act “proceeds from tenderness or goodness of heart.” It is an act by someone who is “disposed to do good to others, and to make them happy by granting their requests, supplying their wants or assisting them in distress.” Good is “that which contributes to diminish or remove the pain or to increase happiness or prosperity or that which benefits or brings advantage or advancement” to another.2
“Kindness speaks of the unselfish spirit of doing for others. It is an attitude of affection or goodwill.”3 ~William MacDonald
The Lord tells us, “He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with God?” And “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted.”4
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. ~AESOP
Here are some practical kind acts that will help others feel good.
30 Kind Deed Ideas
- Call or text a family member to let them know you love them
- Call or text a friend or colleague to encourage them, especially if you know they have a pressing matter at hand
- Bake a meal or dessert for a neighbor
- Pay for a stranger’s meal at a restaurant
- Introduce yourself and welcome a new neighbor
- Walk a friend’s dog or care for their cat
- Watch a friend or family member’s child so that they can have a date night
- Donate time, goods, or money to a local charity, homeless shelter, or animal shelter
- Mow or clean a neighbor’s yard
- Pick up trash in a public place – parking lot, sidewalk, or park
- Look someone in the eye and give them your full attention; listen attentively
- Sponsor someone who is doing a walkathon or race
- Donate books to your local library or neighborhood free lending library
- Buy baked goods from groups outside the grocery store that raise money for the band, camp, excursions, etc.
- Give a compliment when you notice someone taking extra measures to look nice
- Send cards of encouragement to shut-ins, nursing home residents, children’s hospitals, or prisoners
- Remember people who have recently lost a loved one – through a card, phone call, or text
- Donate to Ronald McDonald House to help those who are dealing with a severely ill family member
- In winter storms – check on neighbors, especially the elderly or those with young children – to see if they need assistance
- Take fresh wedding or funeral flowers to a nursing home to brighten their day
- Give blood to your local blood bank
- Write a positive online review of an author’s book, a writer’s blog post, a singer’s new song, a store’s excellent service
- Donate to people who have experienced a catastrophe through fire or flood
- Hire single mothers, widows, or veterans for odd jobs you need done and pay them generously for their time
- Give waiters generous tips
- Thanksgiving Holiday – invite single neighbors or relatives to share your holiday meal
- Christmas gifts to children in need [Toys for Tots or local charity], meals for shut-ins or the homeless, cards to those needing encouragement -family and friends or strangers in the hospital, nursing homes, and prisons
- Valentine’s Day – give cards or flowers to a widow or single person to brighten their day
- Spring Break – invest in a single mother’s trip with her children to the zoo or local art museum; sow into orphans getting a trip to the ice cream parlor; sponsor a school group to receive a pizza party
- July 4th – send a note of thanks to veterans for their service; sponsor a local boy’s and girl’s club summer project5
The list could be endless, but hopefully, it will inspire you to do a kind act for someone else – whether family, friend, neighbor, or stranger.
We can bear Kind fruit https://strengthwithdignity.com/kindness-one-of-the-9-fruits-of-the-spirit/
We can wear Kindness as a garment https://strengthwithdignity.com/kindness-one-of-8-garments-to-wear/
1 Davis, Jeanie Lerche. The Science of Good Deeds – The ‘Helper’s High’ Could Help You Live a Longer, Healthier Life. Published in 2005. Retrieved October 15, 2021, from https://www.webmd.com/balance/features/science-good-deeds
2 Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. Retrieved October 15, 2021, from http://www.webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/ [Kind; Good]
3 MacDonald, William. The Believer’s Bible Commentary. Thomas Nelson, 2016, page 2059.
4 Micah 6:8 AMPC; Ephesians 4:32a NASB
5 Aronson, Brad. 103 Random Acts of Kindness – Ideas to Inspire Kindness. Retrieved October 15, 2021, from https://www.bradaronson.com/acts-of-kindness/ and Good Deeds List. Retrieved October 15, 2021, from https://www.madefromgooddeeds.com/good-deeds-list and my own ideas
Amplified Bible, Classis Edition (AMPC) Copyright 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
New American Standard Bible. Copyright 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.
Bible Scriptures were retrieved October 7, 2021, from https://www.biblegateway.com #bgbg2 #BibleGateway