The Everyday Superhero
We all have everyday superheroes in our lives. People who help others just because they can. People who volunteer their time and resources to others less fortunate. The woman who holds the elevator for you when you have heavy bags in your hands. The neighbour who keeps your spare key safe and checks on your cats when you go on vacation. The man who grabs a toddler running toward a busy street. These are the people who change the world.
The really cool feature about becoming an everyday superhero is that there is a fabulous benefit for doing good for others: when you help others just to make their day better, you bring happiness into your own life. According to Project Happiness, when we do good for others, our brains become wired for pleasure, trust and social connection. We feel good about making others feel good … and it increases the chances that we will do it again.
There is a global benefit from helping others – the pay-it-forward effect.
You let a frazzled mom with two little ones in front of you in line at the grocery store. She gets home 10 minutes earlier, and avoids her toddler’s before-nap meltdown. She then takes that 10 minutes to call a friend to tell her about the fabulous person who just let her in line. Her friend, after hearing about a wonderful gesture from a total stranger, is then inspired to pay for the coffee of the person behind her, who then is inspired to…. (fill the blank in here). Happiness gets paid forward and it was our everyday superhero who started the entire goodwill endeavor in motion, just by giving up a little time.
The great part of this equation is that we can all become everyday superheroes. It is contagious. Give up your space in line for that frazzled mom with the two small children (she needs all the help she can get!), or hold a door open for someone. Smile – seriously, that’s all it takes, a smile when someone needs it.
Everyday superheroes bring out the best in all of us, and, by extension, positively influence our entire planet. Our world can use any and all positivity it can get, so I invite you to think of others, perform random acts of kindness and become an everyday superhero as often as you can.
Melanie Beingessner is a chiropractor and owner of Blessingways Family Wellness.