Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Random Acts of Kindness

If you are kind only to your friends,
how are you different from anyone else?
Matthew 5:47 (New Living Translation)

The film more is a parable on a related themeI serendiptously ran across an article from the July/August 2006 issue of Psychology Today which spoke of research into being kind:

Last year, Stanford University psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky decided to put the kindness-fulfillment connection to the test. She asked students to carry our five weekly "random acts of kindness" of their choice, anything from buying a Big Mac for a homeless person to helping a younger sibling with schoolwork.

Her results indicate the Scrooge effect is no myth. The students reported higher levels of happiness than a control group, with students who performed all five kind acts in one day reaping the biggest rewards by the end of the six-week study priod. Previous studies have found that altruistic people tend to be happy, but Lyubomirsky's was the first to establish that good deeds are actually the direct cause of an increase in well-being....

New Jersey Rabbi Shmuel Greenbaum can testify to the ways kind acts reshape the self-image. After his wife, Shoshanna, was killed by a suicide bomber in Israel in 2001, Greenbaum decided to respond by carrying out small acts of kindness each day—and gradually felt his anger and apathy disolve, replaced by a strong sense of purpose. "Being kind helps you feel in control," Greenbaum says, "By doing a good deed, you're saying, 'Here's something I can do to change the world.'"
In the archives is the recent sermon How to find happiness and peace which makes a similar connection through the lives and works of Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis.



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