The Power of Kindness

Most of us grew up under the parental admonition to “be nice.” The word kindness may have surfaced occasionally, but if challenged to make a distinction between “kind” and “nice,” our child-self would have insisted the two words meant the same thing.

As adults, the line between these two adjectives may still be blurred. Nice . . . Kind . . . Basically the same thing, right? Actually, no. Nice means to be polite, pleasing, and agreeable, while kind involves caring about people and doing something to demonstrate that caring. Kindness is more complex and layered, and it requires more from us than merely being nice. But the rewards are more complex and layered as well, making kindness wholly worth the thought and effort.

Kindness comes in many varieties—random, spur-of-the-moment acts and intentional deeds that run the gamut from simple and small to major and complex. But the really cool part about any act of kindness is the positive way it affects both the giver and the receiver, as well as those who simply witness the kind deed. Doers experience an emotional and mental boost thanks to an increase in serotonin, the mood-improving hormone that induces calmness. Receivers note an increased sense of camaraderie and happiness as well as an easing of stress. And the contagious nature of kindness encourages witnesses to get onboard the acts-of-kindness train themselves.

Two LeaderStat team members share their recent experiences with acts of kindness.

Data Management Coordinator Katie Bock, who leads the company’s Adopt-a-Family program and various food drives, will never forget a random act of kindness she witnessed.
“I recently witnessed an older woman at Kroger, who was very flustered at the self-checkout. She was having a hard time figuring out which card to swipe and attempted to use her AAA card for payment. Overall, she was very confused. A woman at the checkout next to her offered to help her, to which the older woman said, ‘Yes, please. My son is in the hospital, and I just don’t know what to do right now.’

“This woman swiped her own card to pay for the elderly woman’s groceries, then asked if it would be okay to hug her. The older woman responded, “Absolutely!” The two women hugged for a long time. The older woman’s demeanor changed from confusion and frustration to relief and gratitude. It was pretty cool to see.”

Patrick Thornquist, Executive Recruiter, is a consistent American Red Cross blood donor who spearheaded LeaderStat’s involvement as a donor team through the Red Cross app. He shares how he and his family were recipients of an act of kindness.

“Last Sunday, our water heater’s pilot light went out, and it wouldn’t turn back on. I tried calling a few plumbing companies, but none had anyone available to send for same-day service without charging a very pricey ‘emergency’ fee. I then called an independent handyman who had previously done some small projects for us. He texted back within minutes, saying he’d be over later that day to check it out. He carved out time on a Sunday evening to make a house call, and within 15 minutes, he had the problem fixed. When I asked him how much I owed him, he said, ‘Oh, don’t even worry about it.’

The stress of potentially being without hot water overnight, as well as the concern about incurring a large bill, were instantly gone. Luckily, we were able to convince him to take $20 for gas money. He was our Sunday night hero!”

As these challenging times continue, kindness can profoundly impact each of us as we give, receive, and witness folks caring deeply for one another. What acts of kindness have you witnessed? Share them in the comments below.

Contact Us

LeaderStat specializes in direct care staff, interim leadership, executive recruitment, travel nursing and consulting for healthcare organizations nationwide.