As part of a recent study a Harvard psychologist provided a simple assignment to residents of a local nursing home. In this unique teaching moment, those persons who were usually cared for, became “care providers.”
Half of the residents were charged with basic care of individual green plants given to them. During this experimental study, plant caretakers got sick less often and recovered from illness, more quickly. In some cases, blood pressure levels decreased to more favorable readings. Ultimately, the study showed that the very act of caring for something outside yourself improves overall health.
Well known family therapist, Esther Perel, says, “The most powerful antidepressant is taking care of other people.” To say that within this paradox of giving, there are broadened opportunities for mutual benefits in serving and being served, is an understatement. The impact of volunteering and serving greatly benefits the person providing care as much or more than the one being provided for.
As stated in the lyrics of one of my grandmother’s favorite songs, “You can’t beat God’s giving, no matter how hard you try.” We pray that God will remind us to earnestly share our time and energy with those around us ... ”Blessed are the pure in heart ...”
– Linda I. McDaniel
Published on Thursday, January 17, 2019 @ 3:23 PM EDT