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How have I healed others by being kind?

“Medicine heals many wounds, but love alone heals all wounds.”

“There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.”
Fred Rogers

“Love heals. Heals and liberates. I use the word love, not meaning sentimentality, but a condition so strong that it may be that which holds the stars in their heavenly positions and that which causes the blood to flow orderly in our veins.”
Maya Angelou

Kindness, compassion, and love heal in countless ways. Children who experience parental kindness rather than adversity have much lower rates of mental and physical illness in mid-life, and avoid alcohol or drug abuse as teens. Patients who experience empathy from their physicians and nurses are more likely to continue on with challenging medical treatments, to share important information about their illness, and to practice good preventive health habits. In everyday life, when we encounter people who have been bullied or abused, we can have the courage to be kind and thus heal their fears. We encounter difficult people who really test our kindness, and we can heal them too with unconditional love. We might encounter a grandparent whose memory has faded leaving them unable to care for themselves, but we can be kind to them and accepting of their deep forgetfulness—kind in tone of voice, in reading a poem that they might remember from earlier years, or in just being present and calling them by name.

Each one of us is a healer when we are kind and helpful to others, and especially to those who are suffering due to illness, loss, disappointment, humiliation, rejection, or a thousand others things. Compassion is active kindness in response to suffering, and it always heals at so many levels. When the happiness and security of another is a meaningful to us as our own, we love that person. Even if someone doesn’t mean quite that much to us, it is always good to be kind and compassionate to everyone.

Fact:  Kindness and empathy encourage patients to take better preventive care of themselves and adhere to treatments. Their stress levels are reduced and their rate of wound healing is improved.

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This is a project of The Institute for Research on Unlimited Love.