Being kind doesn’t cost anything. It’s an action you can take that will bring joy to the person you’ve helped. It can also make you feel awesome.
According to Dr. Ritchie Davidson at the University of Wisconsin, compassion can be learned.
“It’s like weight training,” he says, “we found that people can build up their compassion ‘muscle’ and respond to others’ suffering with care and a desire to help.”
Doing acts of kindness increases oxytocin in the brain and improves heart health, blood pressure, and self-esteem as well as lowers stress levels, depression, anxiety, and blood pressure.
It’s also contagious because the person doing the good deed feels like they’re receiving the kindness instead of being the giver. And if you’re a witness to benevolence, you’re more likely to continue the trend by helping someone else.
With winter approaching, Brennon Jones from Philadelphia figured he wouldn’t have much time left to offer free haircuts to the city’s homeless. Jones has been offering these haircuts for over a year.
“Me personally, I think I surpassed a thousand haircuts, so many I stopped counting, so it’s been a good year so far,” he said.
Jones’ kind acts got the attention of good samaritan and barbershop owner Sean Johnson. Liking what he saw and realizing the cold winter would effectively shut Jones down, Johnson decided to give back.
“When I found out, [I thought,] ‘Well I need to be a part of that,” Johnson said. “I need to see what I can do to help.”
In an incredible act of sacrificial kindness, he gave Jones his recently renovated barber shop so Jones could continue his excellent work helping the homeless.
“[Johnson] said, ‘Listen, I’ve got a building I want you to come check out,’” Jones recalled. “He said, ‘Do you like this place?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I like it.’ He tossed me the key and said, ‘It’s yours.’”
When asked about his good deed, Johnson isn’t one to brag.
“It wasn’t about me giving a barbershop,” he said. “When you look at the homeless and the things that they need, I looked at it as more. I built something, and I want to see it keep going, and I want to see it do a great thing.”
Because of Johnson’s charitable spirit, Jones’ barbershop will open this month. He’ll have certain days dedicated to providing free haircuts to the homeless.
“I just continue to rely on my faith,” Jones said. “God brought me this far, I know he’s not gonna leave me now.”
Were you touched by the kindness and compassion of both Jones and Johnson? Then share it!