Friday, December 17, 2010

"Helper's High"

I wrote an article for our school newspaper recently that talked about the physical benefits altruism, or the unselfish concern for the welfare of others.  It seems that acting altruistically releases endorphins and aids the person helping by dulling their sense of pain, relieving stress and tension, and giving them a euphoric feeling, much like a runner's high.  It's what makes people want to give to others.  Can you imagine if we didn't get a good feeling from giving?  Or if it were painful?  God knew exactly what he was doing when he linked our mind, body, soul and spirit in such a manner.  His wisdom constantly amazes me!

We put altruism into practice today by doing something to uplift the fearless leader at our school.  The principal of our school is completely selfless, self sacrificing, and will fight tooth and nail for students and teachers alike.  I know I've received responses to emails time stamped 4 a.m. from her, and her door is always open.  I also have never had a supervisor write a hand-written thank you note thanking me for allowing her to visit my class.  Who does that?  She does.

So today was time for our staff to return the favor.  We practiced a couple of times in my class, they practiced on their off time, and during Christmas assembly today we performed a little "flashmob" dance for her to the tune of Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You."  The entire staff of 75 people participated, and she stood in the back and cried, which is not unusual for her.  We had a blast, and the feeling of that moment lasted until the moment we packed up our cars and left for our Christmas break.  It was a great start to this holiday.

It was important for us all to let her know how much we appreciated her sacrifice.  She is a fearless leader, and we love her dearly, as she does us.  I think this high will sustain me for a bit longer than today.  I need to be careful, though.  I think it's addicting.

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