With World Kindness Day just around the corner, it might be practical to take those few extra steps to try and make the world happier. Although November 13th seems far away, we might have more work to do than we think. It's important to remember we cannot generalize happiness, as they say, each to their own. Everyone's happiness depends on different factors, so don't compare.
What's interesting is that we don't even realize the prolonged and profound effects one's mood has on those around us, so it's essential to take care of ourselves too. In 1978, Dr. Robert Nerem tested the powerful effects of human kindness and nurture based on a rabbit experiment. After evaluating the behavior of two groups of rabbits, Dr. Nerem found some heart-warming discoveries. Though both rabbits were fed the same amount of high-fat foods, the group nurtured with human affection - petting and talking to them - behaved much better and had healthier blood vessels, despite the "fatty deposits." This ground-breaking experiment concluded that "health is bolstered by "love, connection, and purpose," and kindness, in general, can "modify health."
Let's not question the differentiating effects between animals and humans. Happiness is the result of a loving environment. Period. If there's anyone who understands what true happiness is, it's Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku. After a heist through Belgium and France, Eddie managed to escape and become rescued while both his parents were murdered. However, Eddie was proclaimed as 'the happiest man on earth.' After witnessing the thousands of deaths throughout WW2, Eddie was lucky enough to survive, now with a beautiful wife and family. Before his passing in late 2021, Eddie vowed to be the happiest, most helpful, polite, and kind soul to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He kept those promises. He explained, "Happiness does not fall from the sky, it's in your hands… if you're healthy and happy, you're a millionaire," and further credited his 99 years of health to his "positive and happy attitude." Despite living through one of the worst moments in history, Eddie found happiness thanks to his incredible and loving support system.
Considering not all individuals are fortunate enough to be surrounded by healthy relationships, this justifies our reason even more, to be kind to those around us. Stress and unwanted feelings are only harming our immune systems. While "medical care only accounts for 10-20% of our overall health... the other 80-90% is somewhat our genes and what's happening in the rest of our lives outside clinical care." At the end of the day, the little things in life can make a big difference. While being kind to others is essential, don't forget to be kind to yourself. Here are a few pointers on how to be more kind!