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Free Toys on Good Samaritan Day
- Gaynor Humphrey
Its Good Samaritan Day this week and as we are a Toy Shop to celebrate we are giving away free toys, a selection from our Dinosaur toys, Organic toys and Pebble toys to people you nominate. So why of all days do we like this one the most?
I am sure that the woman who told my 13 year old daughter she had a nice smile has long since forgotten her comment but 4 years later my daughter still remembers it, and it still makes her feel good about herself.
And the man who I crashed in to on the M1 over 10 years ago, after the initial irritation of having to have his car fixed he has probably forgotten the whole thing. However I remember how kind he was, and how his first thought was only for my safety.
Such small acts of individual kindness can have a lasting impact on people, and yet in the rush of our everyday lives we normally don’t have the time or thought to tell someone we think they look great today.
So good Samaritan Day is designed to prompt us in to one of those little acts of kindness.
And lets face it, those acts of kindness benefit us too. Religion and Philosophers have always promulgated the theory that happiness is found in helping others. As they say, to be happy for an hour take a nap, to be happy for a year inherit a fortune but to be happy for a lifetime, help somebody.
There is even scientific evidence to back this up. Researchers used MRI scans to show that that giving and kindness activates the same parts of the brain that are engaged by food (and sex). Being nice does give you actual pleasure!
So acts of kindness give us a physical boost and make us happy, so why don’t we do them more often?
Obviously time and stress are factors but there is also something called the Bystander Effect which is where people in a crowd are always less likely to help someone than when they are on their own. Its too easy to think someone else is closer/more qualified to help, and also too difficult to push yourself out from the crowd and being “seen”. As a nation we are not good at pushing ourselves forward as more worthy.
Its why we are asking you to nominate someone who you think deserves free toys. They don’t have to have done something remarkable or extraordinary, there is no qualification or measurement of how much they deserve new toys. We just want to spread a little bit of that happiness around and what could do that better than giving out free toys!
We’ll put all your suggestions in a hat and randomly pull out some names at the end of the day.