Kindness pays off

My coworker was getting ready to go on a two-week vacation to Toronto. She looked exhausted and needed a break, so I offered to help her out by taking his place in his last meeting of the day, a weekly project update, and to sit in on a few important meetings for her while she was out. 

You would have thought that I had offered her a million dollars. She was excited to get an early start on her vacation. The project update dragged on and was a bit more than I expected, but I couldn’t stop thinking about a study on kindness that I had read about last fall. 

Image by Greta Hoffman via Pexels.

Feel good mood

The study reported that spreading kindness not only helps others feel better about themselves — it can also boost the giver’s health and happiness and be a win-win for all. I had a few additional tasks added to my list, which I could’ve done without and, yes, I did my share of whining, but I felt good that I was able to help my team member. 

According to the study, when you put the well-being of others before our own without expecting anything in return, it stimulates the reward centers of the brain. Those feel-good chemicals flood our system, producing a sort of “helper’s high.” Now I joked with my coworker that I expected him to bring me back some good Canadian beer or whiskey, but I can’t say that I expected anything in return. 

Image by Greta Hoffman via Pexels.

A feeling that builds

Besides the helper’s high, the report cited that volunteering has been shown to minimize stress and improve depression. The kindness contributes to our overall health and sense of community and belonging, including lowering our blood pressure and leading to higher rates of happiness. 

A few years my oldest son and I helped out with a United Way Day of Caring project. We helped with some basic yard work, raking and cleaning up some fallen branches, and painting an out-building for an older couple who couldn’t get around much anymore. When we drove away, I couldn’t help but think that it was all pretty simple stuff, but that was the point.

Yes, kindness goes both ways.

33 thoughts on “Kindness pays off

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    1. I wasn’t expecting a reward from my coworker . . . outside of the chance to joke and give them a hard time for whatever work came my way. My wife is very giving. I don’t think she has a selfish bone in her body. Me, on the other hand, I’m much more slower to give to others because I don’t like it when people give you something, but have strings attached. When I’m in, though, I really do try to give altruistically without being devious or thinking about what I’m getting in return.


  1. Good reminder about volunteering. I have volunteered most of my adult life. It took me two years to get back to it after moving to Arizona. But it does make me feel good to help out. I was in a mother-daughter six-year volunteer organization with my daughter. We volunteered throughout the community from grade 7 to senior year of high school. I’m glad we got to share that time together, too.

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  2. I totally agree with you, Brian. Kindness is essential in life. It’s what makes the world go round. I love this post, and I, too, feel that if I can do something kind for someone else, I’m happy, but I also feel uplifted as a result of the giving. My motto on my family’s Facebook page is ‘you can never do a kindness too soon.’ It doesn’t cost anything to smile or say good morning to a passer-by. None of us knows what’s going on in another person’s life, and a smile or kind words might make a difference to how that person feels for the rest of the day. I used to put post-it notes in library books saying, ‘someone thought of you today’ or ‘I hope something good happens to you today.’ I wouldn’t have been popular with the librarians, but I always hoped someone would find a note when they needed it. The librarian would have thought me a bit eccentric and would probably have been right! Keep up the good work, Brian 😊.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really enjoyed reading your post. It was well-written, engaging, and inspiring. You shared some valuable insights and examples of how kindness can make a difference in our lives and in the world. Thank you for spreading such a positive message! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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