Perhaps you’ve never heard of World Kindness Day, celebrated each year on November 13, or maybe you’ve been aware of it for years. Either way, I think that we can all agree that this year needs to be the one where we celebrate the heck out of it.
World Kindness Day was introduced in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement, a coalition of nations’ kindness NGOs (non-governmental organizations). It is recognized annually on November 13th as a day to promote the importance of being kind to others, to yourself, and to the world.
This year has been full of challenges
This year, one during which we are continually bombarded with bad news and endless challenges, has naturally resulted in a lot of feelings of anger, disappointment, and divisiveness. We could all use a kindness re-set and a day to remind ourselves that compassion for others is what binds us together.
So, what can you and your family do to observe this day and spread kindness within your families, neighborhoods, and communities to which you belong?
Ten ways to celebrate World Kindness Day
1.Compliment at least three people that you talk to that day.
This can be your grumpy teenager, a customer support person on the phone, or a complete stranger in the grocery store. Your one, quick positive comment could make someone’s entire day.
2. Write a handwritten note and give it to someone you appreciate.
Teachers, nurses, delivery drivers, that Target cashier who always smiles at you, and the owner of your favorite neighborhood take-out restaurant are all more than deserving of a note of gratitude or inspiration for what they do.
3. Grab a family member or a friend and go pick up litter at a local park or along a street in your city.
If you frequent a dog park, scoop up and throw away all the stuff that other dog owners somehow missed while they were there!
4. Write out some kindness quotes on sticky notes and place them on restroom mirrors, lockers, or computer screens in your house, work location, school, or even on random car windows in a parking lot.
Kids and adults of all ages can draw pictures or write encouraging words to make this a fun family activity.
5. Leave a generous tip for the coffee drive-through crew, the folks making donuts at zero dark thirty, the teens scooping your ice cream or handing you pizza, burgers, or salads.
Many of us have started to take for granted these essential workers who continually show up to make our lives easier during stressful days and nights.
6. Reach out to others.
Set an alarm on your phone for three different times throughout the day. When it goes off, text, call, or email someone you haven’t talked to in awhile with a word of support, some reassurance, or simply a joke to make them smile.
7. Post a positive comment on a website or a blog you read.
We all know there’s been an abundance of negativity online this year and the world could certainly use an infusion of uplifting remarks and heart-eye emojis.
8. Pay it forward in a drive-through line and offer to pick up the tab for some or for all of the person’s order behind you.
This will hopefully set off a chain reaction of generosity and it’s a surefire way to make you feel better for the rest of your day.
9. Donate to a charity, maybe even one in your city.
So many more people in our communities are struggling this year and are utilizing food banks and lending closets of all kinds. Consider donating clothes, household items, non-perishable foods, or just ten dollars to a worthy organization near you.
10. Help out a senior citizen in your neighborhood.
Organize family members, your kids and their friends, or just another neighbor to help out someone elderly by raking their leaves, bringing them a meal or flowers, walking their dog, or just sitting with them and talking over a snack for a half hour.
Research findings have demonstrated that there is a “positive feedback loop between kindness and happiness, so that one encourages the other.” The kinder you act, the happier you will likely feel, and that will result in spreading more kindness.
Kindness is free – sprinkle that sh*t everywhere!