Dr. Oz on How to Renew Your Body, Mind and Soul
O, The Oprah Magazine | From the January 2012 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
Help a stranger with directions. Hold the elevator doors. Unburden someone struggling to hoist groceries into the car. You know lending a hand can boost your mood, but a recent study out of the University of California, San Diego, suggests that random acts of kindness can also be contagious: When research participants acted cooperatively, in the public good, their positive intention cascaded outward, influencing up to three more degrees of helpful people. And while you can't always linger to see the effects your good deed has on a person, two O readers share what a stranger's kindness meant to them:
"When I was a teenager, I got kicked out of ballet rehearsal for chewing gum. I was moping around the city, killing time until my friends got out, when I passed a homeless man. He reached out his hand, and I assumed he was asking for money—but instead he pointed at me and said, 'Don't worry, sweetie.' That memory always stuck with me, and now I carry loose change for every homeless person I see."
—Jessica Duncan, 25, New York City
"While driving in 2008, I suffered a cerebral stroke and my car crashed into a wall. A woman pulled over and called 911. She opened the door, took my hand, and asked if she could pray for me. An ambulance came shortly after, and I eventually recovered from paralysis. I call that woman my angel. Today I run a foundation that benefits the elderly and the handicapped, because I know how important it is to help those in need."
—Dick Warden, 70, San Diego
Next: Read Oprah's interview with Dr. Oz