Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How to Change Your World with Kindness

Sometimes the world's problems seem too overwhelming for us to handle. We see a nearly endless list of problems faced by us and the people around us. Sometimes it feels like we can't possibly make a difference.

During those times, we are wrong.

Consider the words from this article:

"Doing good deeds, or just being kind, is contagious--and the behavior of a few can influence many, a new study suggests.

"Participants played a 'public-goods' game in which one person gives money to others. Players didn't know each other before the game and never played it more than once with the same person. Yet researchers found that generosity in the first round was tripled by others, who were directly or indirectly influenced to give more.

"When people benefit from kindness, they 'pay it forward,' which creates greater cooperation that influences others in a social network, say researchers Nicholas Christakis, a physician and sociologist at Harvard University, and James Fowler, a social scientist at the University of California-San Diego. Findings were published in March in the online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" (Sharon Jayson, "Paying it forward pays off," USA Weekend, May 14-16, 2010, page 4).

A little kindness can go a long way in changing the world around us. And as Jesus said to his followers, "You are the salt of the earth...You are the light of the world...let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 5:13-16). Spread the salt and shine the light for God's sake. It will make a difference.

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