“World Kindness Day is an international holiday first introduced in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement. The holiday is devoted to promoting kindness throughout the world, understanding the positive potential of large and small acts of kindness, and unifying together as human beings.”
“Kindness is contagious.” One of our local healthcare providers has embraced this statement, repeating it in their clinic signage, their customer service support line and other media. I don’t know about you, but I like it. A lot. First of all, it is scientifically true. Kindness spreads between and among us. Second, what better way to counter rudeness or hate? With World Kindness Day on November 13th, we are reminded of the part we each play in the larger scheme of things. Take a couple of minutes to consider how you can personally cultivate the kindness contagion.
Start inside and work outwards:
Let go of that negative self-talk. There is no kindness there! Be rigorous about monitoring it, and using self-talk such as “I am doing the best I can right now” to send kindness inward.
Do something just for you, every single day. A dried branch from my nearly-asleep garden graces my windowsill – that’s something I did “for me.” Maybe it’s 10 minutes of inspirational reading or stretching in the morning. Maybe it’s buying that overpriced body lotion that you love so much. You decide.
Remember that the person responsible for your well-being and happiness is you. Go through your day with that truth as your guide. Live, be, and make your decisions accordingly.
Extend one random act of kindness every single day. When you do, you will begin to experience what a powerful force you can be:
- Let that lady go ahead of you in line
- Smile with understanding at the frazzled young dad trying to quiet his child
- Hold the door open
- Extend genuine and generous compliments to cashiers, receptionists, anyone who plays a role in serving and servicing you.
Family and Friends
Be mindful and put your love into action. Sometimes, the people we care about the most get the worst of us. You know what I mean. Be conscious of how your words, manner, or lack of attention may be sending an unintended, less-than-kind message. Say “I’m sorry, Sweetie. I wasn’t listening.” Or, “I know that matters to you, I get it.” Simple, thoughtful, kind words go a long way to reinforcing our love and commitment.
Be there emotionally. Everyone has bad days and goes through rough patches from time to time. More than money, gifts, or distractions, it’s love, compassion, and encouragement that matter most.
Surprise a friend. Leave a plant or something homemade on a friend’s doorstep or send a small “just because” gift to a long distance friend.
And for your children? Be a “do as I do” parent, a role model of kindness.
Respect shared space. Pick up stray pieces of trash when you see them. Take up one parking space, no more. Put the shopping cart back where it belongs. It’s the little things, right?
Surprise a neighbor. Take in a neighbor’s trash barrels or offer to run an errand. Leave a magazine or something in their mailbox because, why not? And on that note, make a contribution to those “bring something, take something” boxes people place on their front lawns. I always feel so good when I do!
Buy local, please! Our small businesses need our encouragement, our referrals, and our dollars. Not to mention the camaraderie and friendship we develop when we become regulars. Not everything has to be bought online or at a big box store.
Leave generously positive online reviews. Your kind words supply ongoing encouragement while helping businesses gain, retain, and build their customer base.
Kindness begins with you – with what you send inward, nurture, then send outward. And what’s better than living kindness on November 13th? Sending ripples of kindness into the world 365 days a year.