Lighting Candles

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle,

and the life of the candle will not be shortened.

Happiness never decreases by being shared.

Buddha 

It all started with a science project. Angela Goodfellow set up a website, and crowd sourced her experiment. People registered, volunteered for a group, and returned to answer questions. There was the “Friends and Neighbours” group, the “Strangers only”, “Secret”, “Wear a Badge”, and various others.

Officially the project ended, but the test subjects stayed on. New volunteers showed up every day, and similar sites started popping up. The results were overwhelming. All of the volunteers – except the control group – reported they smiled more, felt less stress, and their relationships were better. After three to six months even their health improved. It did turn out to be addictive, but nobody really minded.

It seems obvious to us nowadays, but back then people really didn’t know: even if you do them in secret and for strangers, random acts of kindness make you happier.

* * *

This week’s philosophical story challenge by T.Mastgrave:  Is altruism possible?

Related post: Why Hate Hurts – or love heals.

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Flaming Hot

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Holding on to anger

is like grasping a hot coal

with the intent of throwing it

at someone else;

you are the one

who gets burned.

 – Buddha

This week’s Travel Theme Challenge: Hot.