Probably more than ever we all need to observe World Kindness Day.
In light of recent events, observing the international holiday of World Kindness Day celebrated on November 13 this year seems most appropriate. The first World Kindness Day was organized by a collection of humanitarian groups in 1997 by a “Declaration of Kindness.” It’s a global 24-hour celebration dedicated to paying-it-forward and focusing on the good in the world, which is a concept that we are all in need of more than ever this year.
On Kindness Day everyone is encouraged to make a declaration of kindness and devote themselves to completing acts of kindness. From donating food to the local food bank to opening the door for someone struggling with packages, there are many ways to celebrate the day. The goal of World Kindness Day is to highlight good deeds and focus on the power of positivity in our lives and the world. Kindness can be shared amongst friends, neighbors, lovers, and even complete strangers. Kindness transcends religion, race, age, gender, nationality, and politics. The act of practicing compassion is needed now more than ever, and ideally, the intention to practice kindness will transfer to the others days of your life.
Practicing kindness doesn’t have to be complicated. It can begin with a simple act that breeds another. Here’s some inspiration to get you started.
1. Smile. Research has shown that the simple act of smiling at strangers is good for you and the stranger. It’s a way to help someone feel connected, which is a necessity for good mental and emotional health.
2. Say a kind word. Sometimes all that’s needed to turn someone’s day around is a kind word. Whether you let your coworker know that you appreciated their help on that project or you tell your significant other how lovely they look, it just might help to make their day better.
3. Listen. We are all too quick to get in our two cents. Sit back and listen for a change. You might learn something new about someone and help them feel special and validated.
4. Give your time. Lest you think World Kindness Day is about donating money, think again. The most valuable gift you can give is your time, whether to a neighbor in need of some lawn work help or by donating your time to a local non-profit.
5. Remember your manners. Please and thank you matter and remembering to use them goes a long way. Thank you very much.
6. Pass on the gossip. We all are tempted to participate in gossip, but gossiping hurts all involved. Take a pass on the gossiping and instead, think of something kind to say.
7. Reach out. Often the closest people in our lives are the ones we take for granted the most. Call, text, email, or visit loved ones you haven’t reached out to in a while.
In closing, remember these choice words from the Dalai Lama:
“When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.”
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