This morning as we watched the news about Mother Teresa being declared a saint, I turned to our daughter, Kate, and asked her the following question:
“If kindness were a color, what color would it be?”
Without hesitation, she smiled and responded,
“Yellow. Yellow is the color of a smiley face.”
(I couldn’t agree more.) :o)
So…about a few of my favorite things…kindness and the impact of one very special woman for others…a saint…Saint Teresa.
A couple of months ago, I had to turn in a research paper about one component of Positive Psychology.
I chose…(you guessed it)…kindness.
More specifically, I chose to explore the multi-directional and positive effects of kindness on self and others.
As the field of Positive Psychology grows, there is an increasing amount of scientific research about the impact of kindness on our overall well-being. Psychologists have found that engaging in helping behaviors actually changes our brain chemistry. Researchers have also found that receiving an act of kindness positively influences our well-being. The benefits of positive social support are even more important than many people originally thought – especially in adolescence. I look forward to learning WAY more about this as I move through the program.
But…something else really struck me as I was discussing my research topic with my dad and a couple of friends: What happens to a person’s well-being when they watch an act of kindness? How far-reaching is this effect? As it turns out, bearing witness to a random or intentional act of kindness is perhaps the most compelling of all the facets of the concept of kindness.
[they] showed significant increases in the protective antibody salivary immunoglobulin A (S-IgA) over those watching a neutral film. McClelland termed this the “Mother Teresa Effect.” Moreover, S-IgA remained high for an hour after the film in those subjects who were asked to focus their minds on times when they had loved or been loved” (Post, 2009).
Based on the data, they concluded that there are significant positive physiological changes, including benefits to one’s immune system, overall health and well-being from simply watching or thinking about a person treating another with kindness, love and compassion.
The Mother Teresa Effect…a scientific explanation of what most of us have always believed – we should never underestimate a simple act of kindness...love, or the power of one person.
#235. Working with a stranger to carry out a top-secret RAK
#228. Completed an online survey for recent car service.