Lights, Camera, Kindness…


By Robin Wylly McCown


CBS Sunday Morning, a relaxed, feel good, low-key Emmy award winning television program features a vast array of interesting subjects from the divine creations of Michelangelo, to early Dodge cars, to lessons from Warren Buffett to Logic vs. Rubik’s cube—while always emphasizing humanity and the arts with a final dash of a poignant peek at something beautiful in nature.


Network veteran, Jane Pauley stepped in, last September, for the venerable, Charles Osgood, who hosted for 22 years.  The show has been on the air for nearly 40 years.  And if any of this is not ringing a bell—think of the iconic Sun logo that has appeared on its stage since the show’s very beginning.


The cover story to air on the morning of December 24th at 8:00 am CST is on Kindness—the importance of being kind, teaching children to be kind and how promoting the act of kindness in schools can combat bullying—moreover, the science behind how being kind can impact your heart, stress level and help fight depression.


Jon Carras, revered longtime producer of the show, went across 5 states, with various camera crews including Cameraman, Mike Hernandez and Soundman, Adam Zietz. They filmed a wide range of experts on the subject from a man with a PhD, to a woman who, when she was a child was given a small act of kindness, and has made it her life’s mission to spread the word about the significance of ‘kindness.’


The segment in Chicago took place in a prestigious and architecturally resplendent building on Michigan Avenue followed by a walk up the famous Magnificent Mile.





Lee Cowan, CBS Sunday Morning correspondent and viewer fan favorite, interviewed David Hamilton, PhD, author of The Five Side Effects of Kindness.





Carras describes Mr. Cowan as “kind a person you’ll ever meet and the kind of person who makes working with him a true pleasure.’


The 5 side effects of kindness Hamilton features in his book are:

  1. Kindness makes us happier
  2. Kindness is good for the heart
  3. Kindness slows ageing
  4. Kindness improves relationships
  5. Kindness is contagious


David Hamilton gives not only emotional reasons but focuses on the scientific and metabolic effects of being kind. “Kindness reduces blood pressure and causes antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. And there’s more. Oxytocin – our molecule of kindness also helps speed up wound healing. Under conditions when oxytocin levels are low, certain wounds can take longer to heal. Part of the reason for this is that oxytocin promotes angiogenesis – regrowth of blood vessels – which is vital to wound healing. When we get plenty of oxytocin in our bodies, wound healing is more at an optimum. Kindness really does heal.

Stress and Kindness are opposites. “Feelings of stress generate ‘stress hormones’ in the brain and body, like cortisol and adrenalin. Feelings of kindness generate oxytocin and nitric oxide (I affectionately call them ‘molecules of kindness’). Stress creates tension in the nervous system, pushing it into ‘fight or flight’; Kindness relaxes the nervous system, guiding it into ‘rest and relax’.”


And as for your heart, Hamilton says, “Feelings of stress generate free radicals and inflammation in the arteries and immune system, which can eventually lead to cardiovascular disease. Feelings of kindness reduce free radicals in the arteries and immune system. Kindness is, in fact, ‘cardio protective’ (protects the cardiovascular system).”


Perhaps Hamilton’s most salient message is that every act of Kindness matters—not just to us but most important, to the people we help.


In the words of Mark Twain, “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”


The McCown Collection LLC