An Experiment To Discover The Effects Of Random Acts Of Kindness

An Experiment To Discover The Effects Of Random Acts Of Kindness

Do small acts of kindness make a difference in this big world?
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Have you ever wondered what it means to be a kind person? Everyone has a different opinion: smiling more, helping others in need, giving off a positive vibe, being there for the hard times.

But what about the minuscule day-to-day interactions? Does kindness really affect those people we'll never see again or are they in vain because most don't even want to have an extended interaction?

Last week I decided to conduct a simple investigation: Do small acts of kindness make a difference? Can it help us feel more fulfilled?

The idea came from discovering the artist arko83art. They go out of their way to spread a message of positivity to everyone with colorful art made from recycled materials. This piece, as well as many others, are hiding in uptown Charlotte for people to stumble upon.

After seeing that, I was inspired to make others smile too. I spent the next seven days complimenting cashiers at grocery stores, holding the door open for strangers going the same way, and making a conscious effort to put more good in the world.

I wrote cards to my family and friends, real snail mail, and sent it off as a surprise for their mailbox. Usually, all I get are bills and the magic of getting the mail has been ripped away for the most part. It was so rewarding to receive letters back, read the hand-written letters, and start a connection that was so simple and seemingly effortless.

I tried letting others go in front of me at a busy intersection, when there was insanely busy 5:30 traffic, instead of trying to inch my way forward in a bumper-to-bumper situation. Most times I'd get a lazy wave of thanks, but other times I'd get a blinding smile and I knew that I'd helped minimize someone's stress.

While I didn't find the general acts to be extremely rewarding at first, I slowly started to feel better about what I was putting into the community.

The people who took the time to tell me, "Hey, I just had a customer that was very rude to me. You asked me how my day was and treated me like a human being. I can't tell you how much I appreciate that!", made me want to continue the experiment into a lifestyle.

We are so busy running around that we forget the people around us are probably struggling, just like us, to make it through the day to find happiness and balance.

It's easy to get tied up in the hustle and bustle of life and slack on putting in a little extra positivity. The effort that it takes to be a better person is surprisingly minimal and will leave you feeling like you've done your part, even if not every single person appreciates it.

At the end of my experiment, I realized the answer is yes, kindness not only helps others but it makes you feel fulfilled too. That the power of positivity and kindness is undeniable.

You have the ability to change the direction of a person's day, and your own, by lending a helping hand or offering a word of encouragement. It may not always pay off, but it will fill you with a sensation of lightness that will make it all worth it.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Internet outraged at Delhi Aunty for Sl*t Shaming

Public outrage - justified or an overreaction?

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When the topic of sexual violence against women arises, women are often held responsible - because of how they dress, or how they behave, or even if they have a voice. A recent incident in Delhi showed that the mindset of people has not changed. In a video posted by Shivani Gupta, a middle-aged woman is seen defending her claim, "Women wearing short dresses deserve to be raped."

This backward mentality surrounding rape and rape culture is horrifying to see. The middle-aged woman first shamed them for wearing short clothes and when she was confronted, she told them "they deserved to get raped." She made things worse when she told other men in the restaurant to rape such women who wear short clothes.

Shivani and her friends later confronted this woman while taking the video. They wanted a public apology for her statement and followed her around. The older woman stood by her statement. Fair enough. They felt threatened by her statements and wanted an apology for her actions. The older lady, however, was brazen about her ideologies and refused to apologize. In fact, she threatened to call the cops for harassment.

The woman who made the regressive statements. Shivani Gupta

While the anger and outrage by the women who uploaded this video are justified, several questions are being raised on whether the older woman was later harassed for her statements. Public shaming is not the way to solve this issue.

"We cannot dismantle a culture of shaming by participating in it." - Rega Jha.

Now, I believe that nobody must engage in victim shaming. Nobody has the right to police the outfit one wishes to wear. It is astonishing to believe that even in the 21st century, people still believe that an outfit determines the morality and character of a person. That older woman was wrong to sl*t-shame the girls for wearing what they want. That being said, even though what that woman did was horrible, public shaming will not work. It will not change the mindset behind these ideologies. What that older woman did was akin to bullying. Publicly shaming her, stalking her facebook account or posting comments or by coercing her, you are also behaving in the same manner of bullying.

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