Being kind is good for you. It's good for your emotional well being. It makes you feel good and it lifts your energy.
It's also necessary for optimum well being.
In her book 'Thrive' Arianna Huffington explains that giving and contributing selflesssly to others gets us away from the everyday minutiae of life and that to 'keep our inner world strong it's essential that we reach out to our outer world through compasssion and giving." As she so eloquently puts it " because however successful we are, when we go out in the world to get things, when we strive to achieve a goal, we are operating from a perceived deficit, focused on what we don't have and are trying to obtain- until the goal is achieved. And then we go after the next goal. But when we give however little or much we have we are tapping into our sense of abundance and overflow".
And that encapsulates an important key to optimum wellness- feeling abundant.
Tony Robbins, the world's most renowned motivational speaker, also speaks about the importance of kindness and contribution as a core human need. The 6 core human needs are:
4. Love and Connection
He defines contribution as 'the need to give beyond ourselves, give, care, protect and serve others.'
Simply put, if you are feeling low, are going through a hard time, you're struggling with life or even if you're just feeling a little stuck and in need of motivation then look to being kind and selflessly contributing to others. It will not only enhance and impact the lives of those you serve but it will also enhance your life in ways you can't even imagine.
I am inspired by people such a Ariana Huffington and Tony Robbins, however I am inspired most of all by my friends and family. Every day people around me show me examples of how to be kind- simple acts and extraordinary acts of contribution to others.
In this blog I want to pay particular tribute to family friends of ours, Jai Phonseya and Simon Cohn. Jai and Simon met while Simon was working on a mining project in Laos, Jai's home town. Jai and Simon were so distraught by the recent floods which have happened in Laos as a result of dam collapses in the Attapue Province that they were moved to help those affected.
Jai and Simon are phenomenal cooks. Seriously, they can cook anything.
Jai sent an e-mail around to some of their friends announcing that they would be cooking and selling meals as a way to fundraise for the people of Laos affected by the flood. They received a remarkable amount of orders for 70 meal sets (each meal set was enough for 2-3 people ). Jai said she was surprised by the uptake and how many orders she received but I predicted it- everyone loves their food so much.
For a week, Jai and Simon collated orders, bought ingredients and prepped. Banana Leaf Thai Restaurant and Reuan Phae Thai Restaurant kindly supported the cause by donating some ingredients.
Their dinner service went for three days and Jai and Simon did not leave the kitchen for those 3 days. Massama beef curry with rice was on the menu for night #1. That day Jai and Simon cooked 20 kg of beef! The second night was spaghetti bolognese- they cooked 15 packets of spaguetti, 10 kg of mince, 3 kg of zucchini, 8 kg of tomatoes, 2 kg of onions. They cooked 20 kg of bolognese sauce that night. The third meal was sticky rice, crispy chicken wings and Thai pork mince salad. It was so delicious.
Now, keep in mind that Jai and Simon are not chefs, they are not caterers and they were cooking in their own kitchen. Everyone who saw their food prep was amazed at the logistics of it all. They even had to buy an 18 L pot to cook the mince.
I asked them how they were feeling- they felt good, they were so positive. Their energy was vibrant.
They looked good too.
Even though they hadn't sat down for 3 whole days, they hadn't eaten as they were too busy cooking and they were still juggling their two young boys as well as the cooking- they had smiles from ear to ear.
They were happy, they were buzzing. They were a united couple welcoming everyone who was picking up their orders into their home and greeting them with love and smiles.
Their efforts have raised an incredible $4, 565 so far and they are now also collecting donations of toys, clothes and household items to send to Laos.
The experience of watching Jai and Simon reinforced to me that our heart really does expand when you know you are making a difference, when you are making a contribution.
Jai and Simon's efforts are a reminder to all us of what's possible when we look beyond ourselves to improve the lives of others.