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the Message Continues i/56   -   Newsletterfor April 2006

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Keep the Kindness Flowing! 

Science now supports the physiological effects of kindness on not only the body and emotions
of the receiver but also on the giver as well. Kindness causes us to feel better! 

I often say to my students, "don't wait for science to prove what you already know from personal
experience." The validation science offers is wonderful but even without it most people already 
know that kindness makes the giver and receiver feel better. 

When we pay attention to our own experience (something many people are NOT taught to do)
we realize that kindness can affect us mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

I see it happen all the time. When one person acts in a kind way in the supermarket line (letting
the person with 2 items move in front of them because they have 40 items) I notice other people 
automatically being more kind as well. 

Kindness is an energy form and like everything else has a magnetizing quality to it. It is contagious
because I believe at the core of being human is being kind and it's natural. It's when our core is 
covered over by negative experiences, poor memories, and long held beliefs/attitudes that 
kindness can seem non-existent. 

Take a good look at yourself. Even if you've acted in an unkind way toward yourself or others it's
not a real reflection of who you are underneath is it? One act of kindness can re-awaken the great 
power that is already within us and it can do this very quickly. 

I've also been focused on being what I call being "Consciously Kind" as a daily habit. Kindness
takes practice like anything else because we don't always feel like being kind do we? As a 
conscious choice though, it completely alters my attitude toward myself and others. 

Here's a story provided me by a good friend. He says:
I ran into a son of my friend I haven't seen in 4 or 5 years and he told me he was lucky to get
admission at the university for BA in education course. 

When I asked him if he was paying his way to the university, he told me he had been collecting
"pledges" from well-wishers for the fees, and if he collected TShs. 900,000/- ($900), his parent 
would foot the meal and lodging expenses. 

I asked him how close he was to his goal and he said "Shs. 180,000/- ($180) away".
"Do you think you'll get it?" I asked.
"I don't know, the closer I get the tougher it is," he replied.
I pulled out my checkbook and wrote him a check for Sh. 200,000/- ($200) as we both stood at
the checkout counter (I had to put him Sh. 20,000/- over the goal!). 

I'll never forget the look on his face. His eyes moistened and his face told the whole story.
He put his hand on his chest tapping his heart as if to say "deep thanks!" The cashier and other 
people in line all had "palpable" good feelings just by witnessing this. 

I didn't realize who was watching and I certainly didn't do it to be noticed. It was just such a
spontaneous action I almost HAD to take because I had been "working" on being more kind in 

As he was telling me how much he appreciated what I was doing I told him he was doing ME a
favor as this allowed me to practice being kind and it felt good! 

*Kindness is a conscious act. Keep the kindness flowing! Holy Quran says: *
   "Serve Allah, and join not any partners with Him; and DO GOOD - to    parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbors who are near,    neighbors who are strangers, the companion by your side, the    wayfarer (you meet), and what your right hands possess: For Allah    loves not the arrogant, the vainglorious". (4:36)


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