HELLO MI neighbour! Renowned philosopher, Plato, once said, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." And I dare say, even an ounce of kindness could make that difference between winning and losing some of life's fiercest battles faced by our neighbours. Be kind indeed.
As we know, kindness involves generosity, care, compassion, love and affection. American social psychologist, Ellen Berscheid, sums it up as compassionate love - the kind of love which centres on the good of others. For Daniel Batson, another American social psychologist, it is the ability to assume the position of others, becoming upset by their suffering, and uplifted by their joy. How do you measure up?
Self-kindness (kindness to self), according to researchers, involves three components: (a) understanding your own shortcomings and not doting on failure, (b) perceiving your own experiences as being part of humanity and (c) being mindful of holding in balance your sense of success, failure, happiness and pain. Makes sense to me.
People who show kindness to others are rewarded in many ways. The act:
Reduces feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Decreases negative feelings like anger and rejection.
Promotes the release of endorphins, which make individuals happy and calm.
Improves one's sense of well-being.
Aids immune system
Acts of kindness it is said, also help to maintain good physical health: it promotes the production of 'T' cells in the immune system, which help to fight illnesses and diseases. Stress-related health problems improve with acts of kindness. And guess what, depression and anxiety, which can trigger a heart attack, can be significantly reduced with simple acts of kindness. Wow! What an inexpensive way to maintain one's health! Cash in.
The following letter from a neighbour provides an opportunity to improve your health. Please help if you can. "I have been pursuing a degree in management studies since 2005. Due to financial challenges, I have been unable to complete my studies. The total number of credits required for this degree is 90. So far, I have obtained 66. I currently need $240,000.00 to complete my programme of study.
"I need your sponsorship. I want to contribute to the growth and development of my country. Too often young individuals from the poorer communities in Jamaica find it hard to provide for their family as a result of not being able to access higher education. I wish to be an example of one of these poor individuals who can make that significant difference if given the necessary assistance. Whatever you can afford will be greatly appreciated."
"No act of kindness, no matter how small is ever wasted"
To help, please call Silton Townsend at 334-8165, 884-3866, 299-3412, deposit to acct # 351 044 276 NCB. (Bank routing #: JNCBJMKX) or send donations to Hello Neighbour c/o 53 Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 10 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Opportunities to help:
Ms Anderson, asking kindly for textbooks to study law.
Neighbour, son sleeping on floor - needs a bed.
Neighbour, senior citizen - asking for technical assistance to fix stove.
Nicholas, St James, needs a wheelchair and three bags of cement.
Neighbour, needs help to send five boys - ages: 4,9,11, 13 and 16.
Ms McLeod, mother of three asking for a sewing machine to help with income generation.
Mavis, Manchester, asking for diapers and sheet for a needy neighbour.
Ms Brown, St Elizabeth, seeking food items on behalf of an elderly gentleman ... mostly hungry.
Simone, St Mary single needs a bed and desires a dresser ... also needs clothing for boy three and girl six.
Neighbour, Clarendon, a desperate cry for help - landlord is about to throw them out. Mother is sickly. They have nowhere to go. Amount owed: $30,000
Shelly Ann, Trelawny, 10-year-old son needs clothing for church - size eight shoes.
Thanks for helping:
1. Sister Grace, for offering a wheelchair and a sewing machine to needy neighbours.
2. Beverly for clothing.
3. Neighbour for offering textbooks.
4. Mr Hamilton, St Andrew, for donating second-hand queen-size mattress.
5. Mrs Edwards, St Andrew, for offering a king-size mattress and a double-bed spring.