For many residents at Discovery Village at Stuart retirement communities in Florida, one of the best things in life is where they live. For people living on a fixed income, which includes most seniors, it is always good to consider whether the best things in life are free of charge and available to anyone, no matter how tight their budget may be. If you agree that the following things are among the best parts of life, then you are a believer—the best things in life actually don’t lighten your wallet.
That old adage that absence makes the heart grow fonder could arguably apply to common courtesy. When you behave in a courteous manner toward others, there is satisfaction in that. Being treated with courtesy is an even bigger perk these days when a lack of courtesy often seems to be the order of the day.
It has been widely observed that “smartphones” have opened up an entire gateway of rude behavior. People often fail to turn down the volume when playing a game, watching a video, or listening to music in a public place. Diners often ignore one another, giving their attention to their cell phones. Another example is when people are talking to someone and everyone in their vicinity has to listen to one or both ends of the phone conversation. These behaviors cause people to quietly text others about it with an “SMH”, for “shake my head.”
The best approach to enjoying common courtesy is not to expect it so that you are delighted when it happens as opposed to enraged when it doesn’t.
Some basics in common courtesy include:
- Being a good listener, not someone who interrupts others.
- Being respectful of other people’s time, wants, and needs.
- Being polite, not snippy or overly demanding.
- Being helpful, which can be as small a gesture as picking up trash in a pristine environment.
- Not judging others by their looks or their station in life.
All of the best things in life are things that bring enjoyment both when given and when received, and this includes kindness. There are many amazing benefits to showing kindness toward others, not to mention being the recipient of kindness. Kindness has the following effects:
- When we do kind things for others, a biochemical reaction occurs. Something called a “helper’s high” is when the brain experiences elevated dopamine levels as a direct result of doing a kind act.
- The emotional warmth that comes along with showing kindness also has a healthy effect on the cardiovascular system. Nitric oxide is released in the blood vessels, expanding them. This reduces blood pressure.
- On a scientific level, kindness also slows the aging process. This has to do with a reduction of inflammation and free radicals that occurs as a result of acts of compassion.
- Relationships are improved through kindness because it creates an emotional bond.
- Kindness creates a ripple effect; it has been proven to be contagious. At Starbucks, a woman paid for the order of the driver behind her and started an 11-hour chain of paying it forward. A total of 378 people paid it forward because of the woman’s kind act, according to a story in USA Today.
Kindness, ultimately, is just treating others as you want to be treated. Of course, it’s the Golden Rule.
According to William Arthur Ward, “A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.”
Giving of your time as a volunteer doesn’t cost anything, but it is an activity that is packed with benefits. All benefits listed under common courtesy and kindness apply. An unexpected benefit may be that, according to research, volunteering makes a person feel that they are reaping a bonus of free time. The feeling is linked to wasting less time and spending less time purely on yourself. Other good things in life garnered from volunteering include:
- Improved health. People who volunteer experience less stress and less depression. In addition, the immune system is strengthened by optimism and joy that is usually generated by the act of volunteering.
- Strengthened community. Volunteers are important to any community and help to strengthen it in various ways. Volunteers in daycares and after-school and eldercare programs, for example, help to support families, from the children to the elderly.
- Unity. When people of various backgrounds come together to work toward a common goal, unity and common goals are created.
There are more free things in life that many consider the best in life. Along with our readers at Discovery Village at Stuart retirement communities in Florida, see this continuing series to learn more about the fact that you don’t need money for the best life has to offer. Contact Discovery Village at Stuart today at 772.247.5400 to learn about our available programs and rooms.