World Kindness Day: A Day of Positivity and Togetherness
World Kindness Day is celebrated on 13 November. It is an international observance introduced in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement, a coalition of several kindness NGOs. The day targets aspects of mental health, awareness and friendship, and celebrates good deeds in the community. It highlights how powerful kindness is, and how it brings people together to bring about positive change.
Kindness is a very simple word, with a deep and complex meaning behind it. It isn’t just about doing something good, but about bridging gaps between people of different backgrounds, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, etc., and growing in solidarity where people appreciate and support each other, by seeing beyond their individual differences and prejudices. It is something that can break down invisible barriers, and a simple act of kindness can mean so much to someone.
Kindness spreads happiness, and that is something that the world really needs, especially during testing times such as now. In school, kindness can simply be standing up to a bully, sharing food with a student who didn’t get any, offering to help someone with their notes, or hugging them if they look sad. As we grow, the more exposure we have to kind acts, the more compassionate and empathetic we will be in an older age.
Being an international holiday, people all over the world can make a change, but not only for those around them. Thanks to technology, the internet and social media, a positive comment on someone’s post, or a friendly message, is enough to make somebody’s day. We are able to have a global reach, which means that one person situated in a corner of the world can do something kind, and the impact can be felt by anyone who sees it, regardless of the geographical distance.
Acts of kindness for people close to us can include long hugs, spending a day out with them when they’re having a bad day, staying by them and being a good listener when they are going through a tragic phase, buying them their morning coffee, or accompanying them for an interview to help calm their nerves. Kindness doesn’t need to be expressed only when something is wrong. It must be expressed all the time, because we don’t know what words or actions impact who, and how it can help them. It isn’t just about purchasing a meal for someone we see on the street or feeding a hungry dog. It’s more about incorporating kindness as a part of our daily routine. This helps us become more sensitive to other people and our surroundings.
Moreover, kindness is not just about being good to the environment, or to other people. It is important for us to be kind to ourselves too. We can be kind to our bodies by simply looking at a mirror, giving a confident smile and calling ourselves beautiful, or treating ourselves with a meal from our favourite restaurant. Such small things are all we need to feel better, and if we feel good, we can be more prompt in spreading positivity and being kind to those around us.
It is important that we be kind not for show, or forcefully, but because we truly feel like it would create an optimistic change. The best part about kindness is that it is not associated with a particular religion or a group of people. It is something that needs to be incorporated in global culture. No matter where we are from, or where we go, kindness is a faith that, if inculcated by everyone, can bring us together and blur differences that lead to conflict, so that we can welcome peace and unity wherever we are.