WORLD KINDNESS DAY: KINDNESS IS THE CURE
In the age of social media, it may seem like kindness has taken a back seat to cynicism and sarcasm. The differences between us regarding race, religion, culture, gender, and politics seem to have divided us beyond repair. More often than not, these days, we see people from our neighbors, to celebrities, to those in seats of power throwing insults at each other and tearing each other down over those differences. Many of us have felt a sense of hopelessness and concern about this ever-growing rift in our country and around the world. But did you know that there is one thing that you can do today to make a difference in the world? One small thing can help create a truly better world, a more united world, and bridge the gap between us. That thing is kindness.
Each year on November 13th, countries all over the world celebrate World Kindness Day. The purpose of this day is to take the time to remember to be kind to others, to the earth, and to ourselves. This movement shines a light on service to our communities and how random acts of kindness can have a ripple effect that spreads worldwide. Today, we will talk about the history of World Kindness Day and the different things you can do to celebrate it.
World Kindness Day History
World Kindness Day was established in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement. This movement sought to bring together like-minded groups of people worldwide who had a passion for establishing a global kindness movement. The WKM started in Singapore and, over the years, has grown to include members from over 27 countries around the world. According to the World Kindness Movement website, the “mission of the WKM is to inspire individuals towards greater kindness and to connect nations to create a kinder world.” In the past, world kindness day has been celebrated with concerts, dance mobs, and the passing out of kindness cards. At this time, World Kindness Day is not a recognized holiday. However, the World Kindness Movement has been working towards official recognition through the United Nations. World Kindness Day can be a worldwide recognized holiday like International Day of Peace and World Health Day.
Ways To Be Kind To Others
There are many ways to take advantage of World Kindness Day to brighten the day of someone else. For example, you can choose to pay for the person's order behind you in the Starbucks drive-through. In the past, this type of activity has been known to spark a vast chain reaction! In January of this year, one person’s decision to pay for the person’s order behind them at the Dairy Queen in Brainerd, Minnesota, started a chain reaction of kindness that included over 900 cars! This is the perfect example to show that one person’s generosity touched the lives of over 1,000 other people. Some different ways that you can display kindness towards others are by giving a helping hand to your neighbor, complimenting someone, showing appreciation towards the people in your life, and something as small as offering a smile to the people you come across during your day. These small acts of kindness don’t require a lot of time, energy, or resources but can make a world of difference to the person who receives that kind gesture.
Ways To Be Kind To The World
No matter what your beliefs are about the politics of Climate Change, I think we can all agree that each of us can do something small to make the Earth a better place. On World Kindness Day, it is the perfect time to think about what small act of kindness you can do to be kind to our planet. Some examples could be planting a tree, opting for a reusable water bottle instead of plastic, or donating unwanted clothing or household items instead of throwing them in the trash. Another great way to be kind to the Earth is by organizing a trash clean-up event in your area. Every year the Ocean Conservancy hosts a nationwide coastal cleanup. In 2018 more than 1 million people took to their local beaches to pick up trash. This became one of the most successful beach clean-ups ever, with around 23 million pounds of trash being removed from beaches across the country in a single day. While your group may not be 1 million people strong, you can still make a difference! Grab a couple of friends or family members and head out to your local park, beach, or hiking trail to pick up any litter you see and show our planet a little kindness too.
Ways To Be Kind To Yourself
If you’re on TikTok, then maybe you've seen the videos about a 13-year-old Pug named Noodle whose owner checks in with him each day to see if he’s having a “bones day” or a “no bones day.” Each day Noodle’s owner will pick him up off his bed and stand him on his feet. If he remains standing, it’s a “bones day” if he flops back down onto his bed to rest, it’s a “no bones day.” Well, people have fallen in love with this adorable dog and have embraced “bones day” as a day to tackle the things you’ve been putting off, try a new workout, ask for that raise you’ve been wanting at work, or learn something new, and “no bones day” as a day of relaxation, reflection, and self-care. Whether you base your mood on a cute elderly dog or not, all of these things are ways that you can be kind to yourself. You can find enrichment by learning a new instrument or taking an art class, or you can find rest through meditation or soaking in a warm bath with a good book and a glass of wine. You can also commit to eating healthier and exercising more to be kind to your body and develop new routines for healthy living. Another great way to show yourself kindness is through therapy and improving your mental health.
If you are ready to commit to being kinder to yourself but need a little support to make that change, we can help! Here are Georgetown Counseling and Wellness, we are committed to providing you a safe place to tell your story without judgment. Our therapists are trained in a wide range of specialties to meet the needs of as many members of our community as we can. If you are in the Georgetown, Texas area and need support with mental health, couples counseling, children’s counseling, or are looking for a therapist for any other struggles you may be facing; please feel free to reach out! To get started, please call (512) 400-4247.