Sometimes little acts of kindness simply make a big difference.
According to Psychology Today, John Haidt is one of the few psychologists to examine how witnesses of random acts of kindness feel after the experience. He describes the instance as a "'peak experience'--a moment of awe, wonder and a sense of 'rightness' that make us feel immensely grateful to be alive."
"People who engage in kind acts become happier over time," explains Sonya Lyubomirsky, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside. She knows positive activities boost positive emotions, based on her more than 20 years of experience studying happiness.
Recently, a Davey Tree service crew wanted to thank a curious, yet selfless, young boy who took it upon himself to perform his own random act of kindness after they spent a late morning trimming trees in the neighborhood.
Harold Danielson's crewmembers had spent a long morning addressing several utility client concerns as well as clearing power lines for the City of Easley, S.C. Just when they were about to take a break from work to eat lunch, the crewmembers received an unexpected greeting from a neighbor across the street.
Their greeter, the 6-year-old son of resident Denni Clardy Alexander, appeared from his house with juice boxes and snack bags.
Her son had been watching the crew working from the front window of their home that morning. At approximately 11 a.m., the boy approached his mother and said, "Those men must be real thirsty from working so hard. Can I go give them something to drink?" Although Alexander warned him they might not have a lot available, her son went to the refrigerator anyway and grabbed some juice boxes. He put them in a bag, along with some snack-sized chips bags, and took everything outside to the Davey crew.
"It was such a precious sight," Alexander says. "The men were so kind and gracious to him!" One of the crewmembers gave him one dollar, which he later donated to his school to help raise money for a new playground.
The boy stayed with Foreman Troy Smith and Groundman Logan Carper for a few minutes while they showed him their truck and tools. They also explained their jobs working for Davey. It was a break from the physical labor required to complete the job at hand but also a time to highlight the equipment and responsibilities Davey Tree service crewmembers handle every day.
"The crew was really appreciative of the refreshment offering," Danielson says. "They took pride in the experience. It was a good, positive experience for everyone involved."
In regards to her son's efforts, Alexander says, "As a mom, I was proud of him for coming up with an act of kindness on his own."
Give them a little extra TLC.