For the Headmaster’s assembly this week the theme was ‘kindness’. This article, written by Mr Healy, explores about the theme further and details the benefits of kindness
I think one of the main memories of the Queen’s lying in state and funeral was seeing just how kind people were to each other. Those who had queued for between 10 and 20 hours to see the Queen’s coffin, remarked on two things, one was the silence, the sense of occasion and feeling of peace as they walked past the coffin and the other was just how kind people were to each other in the queue. Many formed friendships in the queue which will last a long time.
That made me think about the benefits of kindness.
Bethany promotes kindness tolerance and respect. If people are kind to others then they feel happier within themselves because they get joy out of helping others.
Being kind helps us gain energy and boosts our self esteem. This is because research shows us that when we are kind we produce an enzyme called serotonin which helps us feel calm and even heals wounds. Serotonin is a chemical and is sometimes called the happy chemical, because it contributes to wellbeing and happiness.
Being kind is literally good for our heart. When we are kind our body also produces a hormone called oxytocin which helps to lower blood pressure and improve our overall health.
Being kind can help us to live longer. Did you know that people who volunteer tend to experience fewer aches and pains? Giving help to others protects overall health twice as much as aspirin protects against heart disease.
Kindness can be taught and the best way to teach it is by example. So when we are kind we are teaching others to be kind.
Kindness is also contagious. If we see other people being kind then we are more likely to be kind ourselves.
Being kind reduces pain because when we engage in acts of kindness our brain produces endorphins which are the brain’s natural painkiller.
Studies show that people who are continually kind have 23% less cortisol (which is a stress hormone) and age slower than those who are not kind.
Being kind reduces anxiety. A group of highly anxious individuals performed at least six acts of kindness a week. After one month, there was a significant increase in positive moods, relationship satisfaction and a decrease in social avoidance in socially anxious individuals. Yet another fantastic reason to be kind!
So what can we do at Bethany?
Here are some quotes about Kindness;
“Kindness is giving hope to those who think they are all alone in this world.”
“Kindness is seeing the best in others when they cannot see it in themselves.”
“Kindness is something anyone can give without losing anything themselves.”
“Kindness is not what you do, but who you are.”
My favourite quote is “It is nice to be nice”.