I was reading the paper yesterday morning and decided to glance at something called the “Legislative Roundup” – a look at some of the votes of our local congressional representatives. One entry was titled “Amending language in federal law.” I’m afraid to think about how much time might have been spent on this item. According to the report, the House cleared a bill from the Senate that would remove the word “lunatic” from the U.S. Code. Who knew that word was a part of the Code? Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas was the only person who voted against removal. His argument was that the word should be retained since his fellow members of Congress were living, breathing examples of it.
On the way home last night, I was listening to a news broadcast on the radio. The Pope launched his personal twitter account yesterday and sent out seven tweets. Hmmm…I immediately began to think about a name for this social media effort. Papal Peeps?
Sandwiched between these bits of news, I found something in an online Scientific American article that adds a little science to The Sunny Side philosophy! Dacher Keltner, Director of Berkeley Social Interaction Laboratory, was discussing his new book, Born to be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life. Based on his research of the human body and emotions, he notes that “meditating on a compassionate approach to others shifts resting brain activation to the left hemisphere, a region associated with happiness, and boosts immune functions.” He goes on to highlight that “talking about areas of gratitude…boosts happiness and social well-being and health.”
I found this article on a site I had never heard of, but can totally support: Random Acts of Kindness.
If you needed a reason to look on the sunny side of life, you can be reassured that it is in the best interest of your health to think compassionately, be empathetic, and verbalize gratitude. Here’s to a kind and grateful end to your week!