13th November marks World Kindness Day, an internationally recognised day to promote the simplest human act of all: being kind to others. The day has been celebrated since 1998 and was founded by the World Kindness Movement.
Kindness has the ability to cross the divides of race, religion, politics, gender and location. But with so much going on in the world, it’s easy for simple and random acts of kindness to be pushed aside as we rush around thinking about ourselves and our own problems alone.
2020 has shown us that acts of kindness haven’t been forgotten. The pandemic has proven that friends, families and communities are all willing to go above and beyond for the vulnerable and those in need, whether that’s to lend an ear, donate groceries, and check on those who might have spent lockdown alone.
If you’re not the head of an organisation or charity, and don’t have the funds to make big, generous donations, fear not! Here are some easy ways to make time for others – and help make the world a little kinder…
Let people know how much they mean to you
Whether it’s a friend, a family member, or a neighbour, it’s nice to know when your actions have made an impact on someone. It can be as simple as dropping a text or calling them on the phone: either way, it’ll be a huge mood boost for the both of you! Or better yet, why not send a handwritten letter? People appreciate the time and effort that goes into physical writing.
Do you have a special knack for knitting? Are you great with a pen or a paintbrush? Even if you’re not Vincent van Gogh, handmade gifts are a great way to show your appreciation for others – whether for birthday or Christmas presents, or just to show you care.
Volunteering your time, whilst difficult to do in a pandemic, is nevertheless the most effective way of spreading kindness. This could be for a charity or for a community project that people in your area will benefit from. An astonishing amount of community centres, charities and youth groups rely on volunteers’ unpaid time, so why not look for somewhere nearby you for a place to start?
World Kindness Day isn’t just reserved for other people – we have to be kind to ourselves too! You could write some positive quotes on post-it notes and stick them on your mirror or fridge, cook yourself your favourite meal, or listen to some daily affirmations. Oscar Wilde once said: ‘To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.’
Make kindness your everyday motive
Ultimately, the best way to celebrate World Kindness Day is to make sure you make kindness part of your everyday actions. Making time for others is a great way to be kind, but even if you’re simply giving a generous tip, being patient with someone who needs it, or lending an ear to a friend, it’s never been more important for us to make kindness our priority.
Find out more about World Kindness Day at https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/world-kindness-day.