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Do Good, Feel Good
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The day after NBC reporter, Ann Curry, visited Newtown, Connecticut, she felt the way many of us did after we heard the shocking news that 20 children and six adults had been gunned down. “What is the answer to this kind of national suffering?” she asked herself.

Then she had a “what if?” moment. So she tweeted, “Imagine if everyone could commit to doing one act of kindness for every one of those children killed in Newtown.” To her amazement, people started committing. And many wanted to raise the number to 26 acts of kindness, in honor of the six adults who were also killed. “Commit to how many acts of kindness you want to,” said Curry. “It’s really your choice.”

People started tweeting back comments like these: “I bought toys for homeless children!” “I bought coffee for a guy in line!” “Sent Christmas cards to the first responders in CT.” “Sent an email with an attached Holiday card to all of my children's teachers telling them how much our family appreciates all the hard work they do.” “Just bought lunch for a man in NYC whose sign said he was hoping for an Xmas miracle.” “Bought teacher/student school supplies for Sandy Hook Elementary School.” “Paid off woman’s layaway bill for her 5 kids at ToysRUs.” “Left $20 on a co-worker's desk who is struggling this year.” “I bought 26 boxes of M&M's…and tomorrow will be handing out a box to 26 random people I encounter throughout the day!”

The 26 Acts of Kindness is spreading throughout the country. And even though some of the initial shock of the shooting is now over, it’s never too late to join this cause.

Be Part of the Wave

“I know the truth: if you do good, you feel good,” says Curry. “Be a part of that wave.” 1

It’s true. If you do good, you feel good—both emotionally and physically. An online health and wellness article titled, “7 Good Reasons to Give Back,” shows some proof. A Canadian study compared the health of Ontario volunteers verses non-volunteers. Of those who volunteer, 85% rated their health as “good” while only 79% of non-volunteers felt they were in good health. The article states that, “Research has shown that the good feelings you experience when helping others may be just as important to your health as exercise and a healthy diet.” 2

The article is quick to give the real reason for giving back to others: “But it’s the smile from a child or thankful person that shows you’re really making a difference in someone's life. And that’s the greatest feeling in the world.”

So why not make it a habit to show acts of kindness on a daily basis? Not only will it improve your health, but you’ll feel good that you’re making a positive difference in this often negative world.

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

1 http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/18/15999109-if-you-do-good-youll-feel-good-ann-curry-explains-origins-of-26acts-of-kindness?lite
2 http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/wellness_articles.asp?id=1122

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