Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Kindness - Live Long and Prosper

I was filling up my gas tank recently when a college student approached me and asked if I had any cash. I immediately reached into my pockets and discovered that I really didn't have any cash. He then thanked me for looking and proceeded to the next person pumping gas.

I didn't think much more of the incident until I went to put the hose back into the pump and heard someone say, "Mom, I did ask the people here. No one has any money for me."

I looked around the pump and saw the college student who had asked me for cash; he was leaning on his car trunk talking on the phone to his mom. I waited until he hung up and approached.

"I was wondering what's up"

"My mother called and said she needed me to come home, but I don't have enough gas to get home. I don't have any money. I called her and she said I should ask the people here if they could give me enough gas money to get home, but no one can help."

I told him to put the hose in his tank. I then swiped my credit card at the pump and told him to put in what he needed.

His eyes got big and he asked, "You're sure?"

"Stop when you think you have enough," I replied.

He stopped the pump after one gallon, but I was feeling generous. I told him to go ahead and fill it up; it took 14.

Every time I remember that day I feel good.

That is what acts of kindness do for us. They give us a helper's high. It's a rush of euphoria, which is followed by a longer period of calm, after performing a kind act. This high comes from the physical sensations and the release of the body's natural painkillers, the endorphins. This initial rush then produces a longer-lasting period of improved, emotional well-being.

Research also found that acts of kindness reduce stress, give us a sense of joy, and deaden pain.

Kindness is also contagious. Someone seeing you do an act of kindness prompts them to do one, which prompts another person, etc.

I have also been on the receiving end of acts of kindness as when a Good Samaritan shoveled the snow from my walk and driveway. That was very much appreciated.

Kindness can lead to social connections too. If you do a favor for your neighbor, he just might want to do one for you, and pretty soon you are sharing stories, grilling recipes, and making new friends.

Doing good deeds makes us feel good.

I wonder why we I don't do them more often.

1 comment :

Michael Dube said...

This reminds me of the times I've helped others with cash. They don't always involve honesty, but do we continue to give freely?
There was a time early in the morning on a drive back from Las Vegas (business!) I stopped in Bakersfield for gasoline and was approached by a young gal on her way to high school. I have 4 daughters and teased the young lady for spending her gas money, then gave her a $20. I went inside for my receipt after filling up and saw the young girl drive off. I asked the attendant and he responded she asked for a gallon of gas and change back!
God asks us to give, not to question the recipient's intent, that's His business. He doesn't always ask us to give, but when He does, we answer.
I don't know what the girl did with the extra $16, and like to think there was a good reason for the subterfuge, that's God's business. I will continue to give when compelled to do so!