When You Choose to Be Kind
Weeks ago, I discovered the Saturday Market in my little town in Mexico. It’s a small family-run open-air market selling fresh fruits and vegetables.
Every Saturday morning, I walk to the market with an empty backpack and a canvas bag, and return with a whole week’s supply of produce. The offerings vary from week to week, which makes the shopping experience surprisingly exciting.
One day, I saw guanábanas (soursop) there for the first time. I asked the elderly Mexican lady beside me what the odd-shaped, spiky thing was. She replied in Spanish, which I didn’t understand much.
Later, when I was picking zucchinis, the lady came to show me what a guanabana looked like from the inside. Apparently, she had bought one and opened it up for me.
“Sweet,” she said. “You try.”
Not sure how expensive the fruit was, I didn’t want to take her share. So I thanked her and bought one myself. Amid the excitement of trying something new, I left the guanábana at the stall.
Only when I got home did I realize my mistake. Too bad.
I went to the market the following week, but they didn’t have guanábanas. I told the seller I’d forgotten to take the fruit home the week prior.
The Saturday after that, I found guanábanas at the market. I brought one, among other things.
When I was ready to pay, the seller told me I didn’t have to pay for the guanabana, since I’d forgotten to bring one home two weeks earlier.
I was surprised that he remembered and took my word for it.
When I finally sat down and enjoyed the guanabana at home, I thought of the elderly lady and the seller. The fruit tasted better because of their kindness.
And that made me want to be kinder as well.
Kindness Makes the World Go Round
Kindness is a powerful force that can profoundly impact both the giver and the receiver.
Research has shown that performing acts of kindness can improve our physical and mental well-being.
A 2016 study shows a connection between giving or helping and the chemical releases in the brain that mimic a euphoric high. This ‘helpers high” shows how generosity can benefit your overall health as much as those you help.
Another study published in the HHS Public Access found that happy people become happier through acts of kindness.
Kindness Is Contagious
One act of kindness can inspire others to pay it forward, creating a ripple effect of positivity in our communities.
A new analysis of decades of research suggests that our acts of kindness and generosity, online or offline, can have meaningful ripple effects in our communities.
It’s important to remember that kindness doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. Holding the door open for someone, complimenting a friend, or simply smiling at a stranger can have a significant impact.
Choose to Be Kind
Even small acts of kindness can boost our happiness and well-being.
In a world that sometimes feels cold and harsh, choosing kindness can be a powerful way to spread love and positivity. So let’s make a conscious effort to be kind to ourselves and others.
As the saying goes, “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”