We are all used to the people we love taking care of us or making us feel special and vice versa - but what about strangers. People we don't know have no obligation to love us or go out of their way to make our day better, which is why when they do it makes it all the more special. Someone on Twitter prompted people on the internet to think about these moments with a question about acts of kindness they had experienced from complete strangers and it led to a wonderfully wholesome thread.
The list below will is proof that you don't need to rescue people from a disaster or raise orphan children to be an everyday hero to someone you encounter. Simple things like standing up for someone getting bullied or giving someone coins to make a phone call might sound small but to these people, it made all the difference. Scroll down below to read the most heartwarming responses from this Twitter thread and don't forget to upvote your favs! (Facebook cover image: Daquella manera)
Nicole Cliffe is a TV and magazine writer whose wholesome Twitter question recently went viral
Image credits: nicoleec10
Image credits: Nicole_Cliffe
Cliffe asked the question "What is the kindest thing a stranger has done or said to you?" and began the thread with her own experience. The writer told of the time her baby got airsick and puked all over her pants and seat cushion: "they had to BRING THE PLANE BACK to replace the seat and seatbelt and everyone hated me," she wrote. Holding back tears, Cliffe said a kind flight attendant came to her rescue by taking her baby and lending her some yoga pants. She ended her tale by adding, "I firmly believe that she will go to heaven no matter what she may do in the rest of her life."
We all know that being on the receiving end of generosity feels good, but did you know that studies show that we feel happier when we perform acts of kindness to not just out friends and families but for our communities as well. A study called Kindness Counts, done by University of British Columbia and the University of California, Riverside, observed 9-11-year olds for a month and had them record three acts of kindness per week. The report showed that performing these acts led to an increase in feelings of satisfaction.
Nice guys finish last is the saying but according to various studies they actually finish first. In a New York Times op-ed, contributor David Brooks looked at several studies about how evolution of the human involved our temperate. Unlike our primate relatives humans have evolved from a selfish nature into a cooperative one that allows for more harmonious communities.
It's all in your head. "In one essay, Keltner cites the work of the Emory Universityneuroscientists James Rilling and Gregory Berns. They found that the act of helping another person triggers activity in the caudate nucleus and anterior cingulate cortex regions of the brain, the parts involved in pleasure and reward. That is, serving others may produce the same sort of pleasure as gratifying a personal desire," writes David Brooks.
According to Dr. Ritchie Davidson , University of Wisconsin kindness is a teachable trait, "It’s kind of like weight training, we found that people can actually build up their compassion ‘muscle’ and respond to others’ suffering with care and a desire to help.”
Why do wholesome twitter threads about acts of kindness make us feel all warm inside? Well witnessing an act of kindness makes the body produce oxytocin also known as the 'love hormone.' Oxytocin can increase self-esteem and optimism as well as lower your blood pressure and overall heart-rate.
In 2010 Harvard Business School conducted a survey of happiness 136 countries that found people who were all around altruistic: generous with their finances to charitable donations for example were overall happier.
Author of “Raising Happiness; In Pursuit of Joyful Kids and Happier Parents”, Christine Carter, writes generosity can increase your lifespan,“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. People 55 and older who volunteer for two or more organizations have an impressive 44% lower likelihood of dying early, and that’s after sifting out every other contributing factor, including physical health, exercise, gender, habits like smoking, marital status and many more. This is a stronger effect than exercising four times a week or going to church.”