Acts of Kindness on Campus

By the Staff of Coyote Student News: Angela Alimurong, Zion Anderson, Joseph Camel Jr., Frank Canales, Tatiana Chavez, Tomeisha Davis, Selena Leon, Alexander Norwood, Desiree Santiago, Erica Torres, Yasmine Trinidad-Bautista and Gianna Ward

Scientifically-proven benefits come from random acts of kindness such as an improvement in overall health and well-being. Some students at College of Southern Nevada realized these benefits and build community with their littles acts of love.

“It’s kind of like weight training,” stated Dr. Ritchie Davidson of University of Wisconsin on the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation’s website. “We found that people can actually build up their compassion muscle and respond to others’ suffering with care and a desire to help.”

Kindness can be contagious. “The positive effects of kindness are experienced in the brain of everyone who witnessed the act, improving their mood and making them significantly more likely to pay it forward,” according to the Foundation. “This means one good deed in a crowded area can create a domino effect and improve the day of dozens of people.”

According to the same research, when people offer simple acts of kindness there are many positive benefits including an increase of the feel-good hormone oxytocin, which increases self-esteem and optimism. Additionally those that help others feel more energetic, stronger and less depressed. There is typically a helper’s high, a phenomenon in the brain. He or she will feel good with increases of serotonin—a chemical in the body that heals wounds, calms us down and produces feel-good connections. Kindness can also reduce pain, stress, anxiety, depression and blood pressure.

Dr. Oliver Scott Curry, from the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Oxford, said, “Research suggests that people do indeed derive satisfaction from helping others. This is probably because we genuinely care about others’ welfare and because random acts of kindness are a good way of making new friends and kick-starting supportive social relationships.”

CSN’s Arts and Letters’ Interim Dean Lester Tanaka spoke to a group of journalism students on April 11 on North Las Vegas campus about positive and negative energy. He shared what we exhibit is typically what we attract known as the Law of Attraction. He encouraged students to consider their actions and disposition as they walk across campus and be part of the good to build community here.

Sometimes CSN can be a hard place to build community as it is a commuter school where students come and go to class and head home after. Tanaka shared how that can change with simple acts of interaction and connection. Even something as simple as holding a door for someone can make a difference.

Brisbany Puccinelli, CSN student who opened the door for the person behind her, said, “It’s a natural instinct. I would have done it for anyone.” When asked how she would feel if someone were to hold the door for her Puccinelli said, “I would feel thankful and say ‘thank you’.”

During reporting, one student dropped his wallet on the floor accidentally.

CSN student Gary Shaner saw the wallet and responded. “I gave it to him because it’s his wallet. I would do the same for anybody. It’s just something I’ve learned to do because it’s right.”

Unfortunately some students on campus don’t experience simple acts of kindness.

Yazmin Solorzano, CSN student, explained that when she walks down the hallways in between classes she often smiles and greets people but usually doesn’t get the same back. “It has gotten worse over time with no one to smile back or with the common sense to say hello in return.”

“Kindness begins when you initiate an action for the good of another without expecting anything in return,” wrote Tamara Lechner in an article titled “Four Magical Side Effects of Kindness” on The Chopra Center’s website. “This is the source of its magic. The energy you use in carrying out the kind act affects everyone involved in a positive way.”

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