Being Kind and Kindness Go a Long Way
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I am sure we have all heard the saying, “treat others the way you want to be treated.” Kindness is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate, whereas being kind is doing intentional, voluntary acts of kindness. Essentially, they go hand in hand with each other. Being kind takes little effort and goes a long way. Imagine what life would be like if we were all just a little kinder to each other. I am sure we all could use a little more kindness in our lives.
Kindness is contagious. I’m sure you had the thought of “paying it forward” when someone did something nice for you. It is proven kindness has something to do with the pleasure centers in the brain. When we do something nice for someone, it makes us feel good too because it releases hormones that contribute to your mood, it enhances serotonin and dopamine in the brain. Imagine if everyone in the county consciously decided they were going to choose kind and kindness, just imagine that!
Being kind to others is extremely hard if you are not kind to you. Just like the quote says, “doing good makes you feel good.” It is equally important to be kind to yourself. Don’t be too critical, keep the inner dialogue positive and kind. Sometimes the negative creeps in and tries to rule the mind, but we have to replace those thoughts with kind and positive ones. We are usually our own biggest critics. It’s easier to see weaknesses and insecurities than strengths. Try to be a little nicer to yourself today than you were yesterday.
We all should try to incorporate kindness into our daily lives, not just a one-time act or every once in a while. Research shows giving makes the feel-good part of the brain light up. Giving doesn’t have to be monetary. It can be as simple as smiling at someone, being kind to the worker at the drive-thru or retail store, helping your neighbor, being respectful, saying thank you, or volunteering somewhere.
Studies also show volunteering helps promote happiness and a sense of well-being. The Robeson County 4-H program welcomes adult volunteers to mentor and work with youth, empowering them with skills that will last a lifetime. There are many volunteer opportunities. Some volunteers lead a club, teach workshops, judge events, chaperone, and some help decorate for events. You can sign up on the app or on 4-H Online.
Another simple act of kindness would be to sign your child up for the Robeson County 4-H program where they will learn the importance of community engagement, decision making, goal setting, public speaking, and so much more. They will be interacting with other 4-H youth in the county, district, and state, learning and having fun along the way.
For more information and easy access to all 4-H programs, including 4-H online, download the Robeson County 4-H app. Go to your App Store and download “4-H Now!” When you open the app, you will be prompted to pick a program to download. You will need to choose Robeson County 4-H.
For more information, contact Wendy Maynor, Extension 4-H Youth Development Program Associate, at 910-671-3276, by email at Wendy_Maynor@ncsu.edu, or visit our website.