Folding Kindness Into Your Life

Nov 7, 2022

Sara HuffmanCan you think of a time when someone did a small random act of kindness toward you? How did you react, and what did you feel? Now think about it from the opposite perspective. How do you think the person doing the act felt?  

Prosocial behavior is when you do something positive for someone without any expectations of what you’ll receive in return. You exhibit this when you volunteer for an organization, get a gift for someone just because, donate to a fundraiser or charity, or even just share a snack with someone. Researchers have shown that participating in prosocial behavior may help to reduce the negative effects of stress in your everyday life. Not only does it uplift someone else's day, but it also benefits you as well! 

It doesn’t require a grand gesture to make someone else’s day. In fact, even doing something tiny can create a big impact. In this regard, try getting crafty with it and incorporating origami! Research shows that origami enhances focus by requiring simple, but precise folds. Additionally, it is a stimulating activity that allows for creative expression. This means that by making a small handmade gift for someone and giving it to them, you are improving your well-being in multiple ways at the same time. 

Throughout the past year, I have begun to incorporate prosocial behavior into my own life. I was taught how to make a simple origami butterfly in one of my freshman-year classes. Oftentimes, I will carry a pad of square sticky notes around with me, and will randomly make a small origami butterfly to give to someone. It’s something super easy to make and takes less than a minute, and giving one to someone not only makes their day but mine as well. Below are some links to simple origami instructions. I encourage you to choose one and take a few minutes to fold something to give to someone. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but take the time and try to make it your best effort. When you finish, you receive both the satisfaction of having created something unique as well as sharing it with someone else.  

Happy folding! 

Links to simple origami instructions: 




Sara Huffman 

Sara Huffman is a sophomore studying Industrial Engineering within the College of Engineering. Her hobbies include bouldering, crafting, and hanging out with friends, as well as enjoying the little things in life.

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