By Lila Drowos, age 10, Florida.
Kindness, whether it’s you being kind to someone, or someone being kind to you, can make you happier and healthier. Even small acts of kindness can change a life and make you feel better. But can kindness also be good for you, the person you’re kind to, and even others around you? Can it keep you healthy and relaxed? What exactly are the benefits of kindness?
The good feelings you get when kindness is happening are created by endorphins, pleasure chemicals that are connected with joy and pleasure, social connection, trust, smiling, laughter, and love, which can also come from doing an act of kindness. Kindness also helps us form meaningful relationships and connections, making strong friendships and bonds with others. Being kind can reduce stress as well, which makes you healthier and calmer, and creates pride, belief and confidence in yourself, and a sense of belonging.
Kindness can also help you learn to appreciate the good things in your own life. It can help you be more grateful. It’s always good to have some gratitude for the good things in your life, rather than focusing on the bad. Kindness can also boost your creativity and help you have a better imagination and ideas which can produce better results in school. It can also reduce the effects of bullying. And there’s the ripple effect, treating others how you want to be treated. If you’re kind to someone, they could go and help someone else, spreading kindness and helping the world become better, happier, and healthier. Witnessing acts of kindness can also produce other chemicals in your body that help lower your blood pressure and improve your overall heart-health. It can also give you optimism and extra confidence, which is extra helpful when you’re anxious or shy in any situation.
Kindness strengthens your heart physically and emotionally and it can help you live longer, and prevent illness. Also, serotonin levels, the feel-good chemicals in our brains are increased in both the person being kind and the person receiving the kindness, as well as anyone who witnesses that kindness.
Kindness is a wonderful way to feel happier and healthier for everyone!
“I am a fifth grade student and I attend a religious day school where I am learning about my Judaism. Being Jewish is really important to me because it connects me to my family and community. I am also learning to speak Hebrew in my school, which is a language traditionally spoken by Jewish people. We have different values and traditions and I am really interested in learning about the history of my people, and how it has shaped our beliefs as a community.
One of the things that are important in Judaism is our focus on Tzedakah, which is the Hebrew word for charity. Kindness is very important to me and I like to help others. Some of my favorite ways to volunteer and give charity include preparing and delivering food to people that don’t have any, collecting supplies to donate to people in need, and picking holiday presents for families that can’t get them.
Another important value in Judaism is Tikkun Olam, which means making the world a better place. Helping the environment and protecting it is very important to me as well. I care about sea creatures that get harmed by eating plastic that blew into the ocean, as well as land creatures that may eat trash. Recycling and reducing waste are ways that anyone can help, and take care of our planet, which is very important.
When I think about what Tzedakah and Tikkun Olam have in common, they are both rooted in kindness. Kindness is a way of achieving a better world and making the planet that we live on a better place. I wrote my essay in honor of World Kindness Day, which was on Friday, November 13th this year. To me, kindness is very connected to my Jewish values and is something I want to teach others about.”
—Lila Drowos, age 10, Florida.