Acts of Kindness


An upsetting video of a plastic straw being removed from the nostril of a sea turtle shows the grim reality of how plastic litter impacts marine life.

Straws are a fine example of the way we have been brainwashed into consuming. Since when did we need a straw to drink? Since companies started making them for profit! The drink does not stay cleaner or taste better.

Sometimes a small move can have huge effects. In my 20’s I decided to stop using straws. If you consider an average person uses at least 1 straw a day then throws it away – that means I have stopped with that 1 small move the release of 14,600 straws into the environment. I still have years left to continue this joyful move – clean up your environment – one small policy at a time.

I also saved 14,600 paper straw covers.

I have less BPA in my system from drinking liquids through a straw – BPA has all kinds of ramifications including obesity as this is one of the chemicals in our environment that causes the storage of unhealthy fat.

An upsetting video of a plastic straw being removed from the nostril of a sea turtle shows the grim reality of how plastic litter impacts marine life.

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Arcadia University Stundents on Scott’s Head Beach

I am sad this was necessary and happy to see visitors contribute to the environment.

“We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand … and melting like a snowflake. Let us use it before it is too late.” ~ Marie Beynon Ray

My life experience has been that most of the people living on this beautiful planet are kind, genrous and loving! Why is such a huge majority of our input about the violent ones? Yes, there are “unbalanced” people out there but they are not the majority! Random Acts of Kindness happen every minute of every day somewhere in the world! My goal is to seek them out wherever I am! After all just knowing about these acts contributes to my health!

I have the privellege of teaching exercise and propmoting wellness at Ross Medical University in Dominica. Acts of Kindness are a integral part of campus life! I could not possibly write all I have observed since I started teaching there over 10 years ago! But as I really get energy from writing about these incidences I will post a few! 🙂

Acts of Kindness through students, partners of students and staff from Ross Medical School University, Dominica are encouraged, assisted and promoted by the school.

Every year Campus Life holds an Art Show. This show connects our local artists with students and the Portsmouth community. It is so beautiful to walk through room after room of art! Everyone benefits and a percentage of funds raised are contributed to non-profits, often $1,000s of dollars!

One year the Physicians for Human Rights group held a benefit and raised $2,600 EC to help a 72 yr. old homeless amputee, find a home at the Grange Home for the Aged. A PHR volunteer put together a video to help the fundraiser and it was a GREAT success!

PAWS is a group formed many years ago when stray dogs were becoming a problem near campus. PAWS raised funds to have these dogs neutered and then found them homes. Ross University contributed a place where the operations could be done and the animals could recover. Now many years after the project started success is visible – no  sad looking emaciated dogs around the campus!

School supplies are gathered at the end of each semester to distribute to local schools and non profit organizations; this has expanded to the point where often 2 or 3 groups are gathering and distributing resources!

Campus Life often starts each semester out with a Sports Day. they work in cooperation with local schools and volunteer Ross Medical Students meet local young sports enthusiasts and spend an afternoon sharing what they know about sports!

Health Clinics with Blood Pressure and other tests available as well as educational components on staying healthy are held throughout the year!

Individuals also go and do their thing. One professor has dedicated hours a week for years to keeping our roadsides clean and green! A spouse of a student painted the entire west wall of the Women’s Centre in a beautiful wall mural! CALLS Centre can attest to the hundreds of hours the Ross Comunity especially spouses of professors and students volunteer teach!

Local businesses often work hand in hand with the Ross community on their Acts of Kndness!

Happy Holidays to Everyone! It is a wonderful world and there are many wonderful people doing many wonderful things!

“ For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” ~ Nelson Mandela

 

RESPECT  To all the local corporations, small businesses and private persons who contribute in a multitude of ways to local programmes. They contribute funds, venues, goods and in kind from the good of their hearts as they do not get to count off donations from income for tax purposes as in many other countries. They offer scholarship for children attending school and summer camp; promote local artists and sponsor carnival groups and sports teams. There are very little extra funds available for these projects and a lot of requests hit the same companies over and over again. .………… nuff respect

ACTS OF KINDNESS

Yeah – in Dominica everyone knows your business; just like small communities everywhere. This is part of the culture and environment and in many ways I love it.

I have personally experienced the “Acts of Kindness” that occur in this type of community as compared to London; Toronto; New York where it is a rare occurrence to recognise someone in the crush of humanity.

One morning on my way to work in Roseau from Marigot I got talking to the bus driver. He was a friendly jolly fellow always ready with a laugh and a smile and he loved beff! After only a short time in Marigot I knew that!

He asked me all the normal questions. Where are you from? Do you love Dominica? How long have you been here? I usually answer all the questions; but when people get to the Where are you staying part – I make them work for the answer!

So the conversation that morning went: Bus Driver: “Where are you staying?” I: “Marigot.”. “Where in Marigot?” “Behind Marigot.” “Where behind Marigot?” “Over by Dam.”  “Where over by Dam?” “By 4 roads.” “Where by 4 roads?” “Up the road.” “Where up the road?” “By the pipe.” Where by the pipe?” Oh by a friend.” He looked at me at this point and said “Why don’t you tell me you live by Hillborn Prevost in Rosehill?

Over the next years that same bus driver went out of his way to pick me up in my travels all over the island; every time he picked me up he said “I know you – so I stopped!” Life is nice in Dominica with everyone knowing your business! He has passed away; May He Rest in Peace; but his Acts of Kindness live on in my mind and heart.

 Just think the next “Act of Kindness” you enjoy may keep your memory alive for generations.

“Kindness is like sugar, it makes life taste a little sweeter.” Carla Yerovi

Modern research shows that kindness, one of the most pleasurable of all human acts is also one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself and for others.

The benefits of kindness have been discussed throughout written history.

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop

“Kindness in words creates confidence, kindness in thinking creates profoundness, kindness in feeling creates love.” –Lao-Tzu

“That best portion of a good man’s life, is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.” – William Wordsworth

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?”” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

David McClelland, a professor of psychology formerly at Harvard and now at Boston University, began researching how people could improve the functioning of their own immune system in the 1970s. As part of this research, he showed movies of Mother Teresa helping babies to his students at Harvard to see if a film could transmit feelings of caring and loving, and then see if that experience had positive effects on the immune system. It did.

McClelland verified this by measuring the amount of immunoglobulin A (part of the body’s defense against cold viruses) in saliva, which increased in students watching the film, regardless of whether or not they claimed to admire Mother Teresa’s work.

The best-known study regarding the importance to health of a spiritual lifestyle was reported by psychiatrist George Vaillant in his book, Adaptation to Life, which was based on a 30-year study of a group of Harvard graduates. Vaillant concluded that adopting an altruistic lifestyle is a critical component of mental health.

When we do kind things for others, our body rewards us by releasing powerful chemicals (endorphins) which make us feel good.

Kindness is a stress-reducing behavior. It can reverse feelings of depression, supply social contact, and decrease feelings of hostility and isolation that can cause stress. It is regular, small acts of kindness that off-set and help to buffer us from the daily stress of life.

The pleasure that results from random acts of kindness is real and may help to reduce pain messages from all sorts of ailments, like arthritis or headache pain.

 Acts of kindness take our minds off our own problems and increase our sense of self worth.

The health benefits and sense of well-being return for hours, days and sometimes for a lifetime whenever the helping act is remembered.

In the book Meaning & Medicine, (Bantam Books, 1991) author Dr Larry Dossey tells us, “Altruism behaves like a miracle drug, and a strange one at that. It has beneficial effects on the person doing the helping – the helper’s high; it benefits the person to whom the help is directed; and it can stimulate healthy responses in persons at a distance who may view it only obliquely.”

In his book, The Healing Power of Doing Good, Allan Luks states, “It is not necessary to wait until you have an opportunity to donate a kidney or save the whole world to enjoy this good feeling. A small effort to help one person can create these same feelings and attitudes.”

Quoting the words of scientist George Washington Carver to close this article: “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong because someday in your life you will have been all of these.”

Anyone living in or visiting Dominica has been or will be on the receiving end of many acts of kindness. People will enthusiastically help you find your way; make sure you are dressed properly; assist you with car troubles; offer a ride; offer a glass of water; or share their food – they often say that is how they were raised!

Dominica is a kind and gentle country in many ways – part of the health and wellness attributes of the island!

“The best portion of a good man’s life;  his little, nameless unremembered acts of kindness and of love.” ~ William Woodsworth

 

Random Acts of Kindness in Dominica

I was standing at the top of Pond Case. They were “load shedding” that day and the lights were out. The darkness was palpable; and the sounds of the crack cracks and other night insects were so loud it was over whelming.

 

 

The first car that goes by stops to warn me how dangerous it is to hitch hike there! I know they are right but I have no choice but to get home any way I can.

 

 

After standing there a while listening to the  unique symphony of the night sounds of Pond Case; I can hear footsteps of more than one person approaching the roundabout and I can make out male voices talking low.

 

I could hear the voices getting closer; I looked up and I saw 3 young Carib men approaching the roundabout from Layou side.

 

They looked at me in shock; likely stunned to see anyone standing by the road that late and in the dark and to top it off an older white lady.

 

 

A funny look crossed their faces……….  then smiles broke out and “Good Evenings” were exchanged.

 

 

I shared my peanuts and they flagged me a ride with a friend.

 

 

… only in Dominica! 

 

“Little drops of water, little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean and the pleasant land.
Little deeds of kindness, little words of love,
Help to make earth happy like the heaven above.”
– Julia A. F. Carney, Little Things


Acts of Kindness in Dominica

It is dark and I am hoping to catch a ride from Portsmouth to Massacre quickly. I hear but cannot see a vehicle coming and I realize it is a motorcycle with the light off. The guy is scratched up and dirt and blood are still on his shirt and he is cussing!

Next a really cool sports car pulls up and an acquaintance offers me a ride. As we started to drive he said “I am in a hurry, I hope you don’t mind a fast ride.” (Only in Dominica do people who are giving you a ride ask your permission to travel fast!)

 No matter my age; I was really looking forward to a fast ride home in the sportiest car I had ridden in a while. I could already feel the car hugging those curves and the breezes flowing in the window!

Within a mile or so, we saw the motorcycle with the missing light. We overtook him quickly but as we pulled out to pass him, he pulled into the middle of the road to prevent us getting by. The driver of the car I was in made 2 or 3 attempts to pass and each time the motorcyclist prevented him.

After a bit the driver of the car started to wonder aloud what was happening. I told him that I had observed earlier the motorcyclist had no light.  We came up to a transport trailer truck and the motorcyclist passed; my driver friend said “watch this”. Boom we passed the transport and started to pass the motorcyclist. The motorcyclist started to vigorously wave his hand at us to stop. The driver of the sports car stopped and the cyclist came up beside us to say: “I just had an accident and my headlight is broken; I have to get to Grand Bay and I need to use your lights.” (Only in Dominica would the driver of a car in a hurry to get to his destination stop for a crashed up motorcyclist with blood on his shirt!)

My driver agreed to help and proceeded to drive at a snail’s pace behind the motorcycle until it got to Salisbury and turned off to get a flashlight from a friend. – only in Dominica!

Acts of Kindness Links

Studies on love and kindness get better with age

RESPECT to all those who volunteered on community day of service. What an amazing way to contribute to your health and the community while working towards creating the kind, helpful society we all want; one act of kindness at a time.

DIRECTORY OF NATURAL LIVING IN DOMINICA
(List your health or green business; or organization at Visit-Dominica.com)

CALENDAR OF EVENTS
(List your event at  Visit-Dominica.com)

SHAPE  AGM – Thursday, December 4, 5 pm, Alliance Francais, participate and build heritage.

Lionheart Sister – Saturday, December 6, 8:00 pm, Arawack House of Culture, A play about Mary Seacole, the Caribbean’s Florence Nightingale; and her travels all over the world; fund raiser for Nurses Federation.