February 23, 2015

Today, I practiced an act of guerilla giving. I wished I’d coined this term, but when I googled it to check, I found 617,000 links. One was to a terrific foundation based in Kauai (http://guerillagiving.org) based on the idea that happiness is discovered through the experience and act of giving, receiving and observing love. As I explored their site, I found an invaluable piece of information that explains why, although I have by no means solved all my problems with this giveaway project, I’ve been shopping less often this year and consuming less chocolate! Apparently, a quantum physics researcher, Paul Persall, conducted a study showing the physiological effects of giving on the brain and found the following:

“Through studying brain activity it was proven that when a person extends kindness to another it naturally increases the production of endorphins in the “giver’s” brain. Furthermore, it was proven that it also increases the endorphins in the brain of the “receiver.” Most surprisingly, however, was that one act of generosity even extended to increase endorphins in the brain of a third party “observer” as well.”

What a discovery! My act of guerilla giving today (I plan to do it again now that I’ve learned this) was a small gift, some goodies that I took from our kitchen cabinets and snuck into the kitchen at my son’s school – some tea bags, jars of honey and Nutella, hot chocolate packets and a few condiments. I remember when I worked at Pacific Asia Museum wandering into the kitchen hoping that someone might have left some treats there. A bowl of tangerines or a plate of cookies sitting on the table had the power to turn my day around. Hopefully a nice cup of tea or some chocolate and hazelnut spread on toast will be just the trick to pick up a teacher’s mood and send her back into their classroom full of kids with a smile on her face.

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