We all like to think that we’re kind and generous human beings. But, sometimes in the course of everyday life, being kind to others gets pushed down our list of priorities. The pressure of meeting deadlines, going to work and paying the bills leads us to be more selfish.
Every year, on 13 November, people around the world take part in events and activities to celebrate World Kindness Day. The purpose of the day is to show that we are capable of thinking about other people as well as ourselves and to share the spirit of kindness with others. Like many of the awareness days we have these days, World Kindness Day is relatively new – it was first established by the World Kindness Movement in 1998.
But wherever you are, whoever you are, it’s possible to take part in this special day. And the great thing about kindness is that it can be as beneficial for the person who’s doing a good deed or saying a kind word as it can be for the recipient. You know that doing something nice for someone else always gives you a little lift within.
What happens on World Kindness Day?
World Kindness Day is something that’s been celebrated with a vast range of group activities.
Over the years, organisations in different countries have arranged some large-scale events. In Singapore, the Kindness Movement handed out 30,000 gerbera plants to people to brighten their day. In Australia, a mass Kindness Hug was organised on Bondi Beach. In Italy, the Italian Kindness Movement held a Kindness Awards Ceremony in Parma.
school’s mission to #BeKind spreads on World
Kindness Day. What they did, https://t.co/4Wsej7WGvP
Challenge (@RachelsChalleng) November 24,
But you don’t have to join in a group activity to do your bit on World Kindness Day. Any kind gesture can have a hugely beneficial effect on the people in your life.
Kindness can begin at home
It’s easy to take our partners for granted. We love them, of course, but when you’re in a steady relationship, it’s easy to become a little complacent. That’s when a little gesture of kindness can mean a lot. Think about something you could do for your partner on World Kindness Day.
- If they do all the cooking usually, why not surprise them by taking charge of the kitchen for a change? And if you don’t think your cooking is up to it, take them out for dinner instead!
- Write them little notes and leave them in unexpected places. Remind them about a special day or something that they said, and see their faces light up when they find the notes.
Simple gestures can mean a huge amount, especially if your partner feels that you take them for granted sometimes. It’s important to value your relationship and to recognise that we need to learn how to strengthen our relationships. Too often, people assume that their relationship will take care of itself, but it’s something that all of us need to work at to a certain extent.
Kindness to others
World Kindness Day is also about taking that warm-heartedness beyond our front doors. And something that will only take a little of your time could make a big difference to someone else.
- At work, you might offer to help a colleague with a project that they’re finding overwhelming. Two heads can be better than one, as the old saying goes. If you can help someone out, even if you’re not really obliged to, you’ll feel good and so will they.
- If you have an elderly neighbour, make a point of popping into see them. Find out if there’s anything they need doing around the house, or invite them to share a meal with you. It could make a huge difference to their day, especially if they’re isolated or don’t have family nearby.
What you do on World Kindness Day this year really doesn’t matter. The point is to do something generous or selfless that you might not usually do, just for the joy of making someone else’s day a little brighter.