“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” —Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:32
I learned something new today. Perhaps it is new to you, too. Today is “World Kindness Day,” and that sounds like a very good day to celebrate not only today (it is held on November 13th every year), but every day of the entire year!
In an article titled, “World Kindness Day–November 13, 2020,” published on NationalToday.com (author’s name not mentioned), the article states:
World Kindness Day is an international holiday that was formed in 1998, to promote kindness throughout the world and is observed annually on November 13 as part of the World Kindness Movement. It is observed in many countries including the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, Italy, and India, and the U.A.E. World Kindness Day presents us with the opportunity to reflect upon one of the most important and unifying human principles. On a day devoted to the positive potential of both large and small acts of kindness, try to promote and diffuse this crucial quality that brings people of every kind together….
…In 2019, the organization was registered as an official NGO under Swiss law, but the history of the group stretches back to a Tokyo-based convention in 1997. An array of institutions and associations based in countries including Australia, Thailand, the United States, and the United Kingdom had been assembled at this conference because of their dedication to championing kindness in society. The initial configuration of the World Kindness Movement would form as a result of this event, with the written declaration of their inception stating their “pledge to join together to build a kinder and more compassionate world.” In 1998, in pursuit of this aim, they would facilitate the launch of the inaugural World Kindness Day.
The purpose of World Kindness Day as outlined by the World Kindness Movement is “to highlight good deeds in the community focusing on the positive power and the common thread of kindness which binds us.” Since its creation more than two decades ago, the day has achieved truly global notice; events associated with the day have attracted participants from every inhabited continent. These have included activities such as concerts, dance mobs, and the distribution of “kindness cards.”
While, at present, the day is one of unofficial observance, it remains the hope of the World Kindness Movement to attain official recognition status by the United Nations. Should the group be successful in their efforts, World Kindness Day would join the ranks of recognized days of observance such as International Day of Peace, Human Rights Day, and World Health Day.
The objective of World Kindness Day is to spread kindness with small gestures. The main tradition of the day is to be kind, and to try and encourage kindness to prevail over hatred. Whether it’s helping out someone with chores, taking the time out to ask how someone is doing, or complimenting someone, the name of the game is kindness, and we all have it in us. (Quote source here.)
I found the following article with a list of suggestions of ways to be kind that was published today on MyNBC5.com titled, “World Kindness Day 2020: 25 Ways to be kind today,” by Katia Hetter, Senior Editor at CNN Science and Wellness. Here is the list of those suggestions to get us started (her article is available at this link):
It’s time to be kind.
It’s World Kindness Day today, Friday the 13th. Wait, is that a joke? Friday the 13th?
Maybe it seems like there is no time to be kind. The world, however, seems to be crying out in pain. It’s hungry and war-torn, with icebergs melting, animals going extinct and a pandemic killing thousands of people daily.
There is time, I promise you. I see people risking their lives every day to care for sick people, stock our grocery stores, teach our children, and staff our polling places. Librarians are checking out books. That’s the living embodiment of kindness.
“Selfless acts of kindness don’t just help the person on the receiving end,” said psychologist Lisa Damour, author of “Untangled” and “Under Pressure” and co-host of the “Ask Lisa” podcast, via email.
“Research finds that altruistic behavior activates the very same regions in the brain that are enlivened by rewards or pleasurable experiences.
“Remarkably, helping others also causes the brain to release hormones and protein-like molecules, known as neuropeptides, that lower stress and anxiety levels. Here’s the bottom line: doing good is good for you.”
Here are 25 ways to be kind to yourself, your family and community, and the planet today or any day.
Be kind to yourself
1. Start with yourself. Yes, you’re at the top of this list. What is one simple thing you can do that fills you up? It may mean taking 15 minutes for a phone call with an old friend, shooting hoops or reading a book. It may be simply saying “yes” if someone offers to help.
2. Get moving. You don’t need to start a rigorous exercise program. You can start with walking or even a five-minute stress relief program, and then keep going.
3. Drink more water. It’s recommended that women drink 72 ounces of fluids per day and men 100 ounces. Why not try adding one more glass of water per day and increase that number as you can?
4. Drink less. Many people have been stress drinking their way through the pandemic — and it’s not a habit you want to stick around. Don’t wait for Dry January to lower your alcohol intake or take a break from drinking.
5. Go to sleep earlier. Lack of sleep makes us more vulnerable to illness. Routine, cooler temperatures and a dark room are key to good sleep. Not sure what else you should do? Sign up for our sleep newsletter.
Make kindness a family value
6. Treat your sweetheart. Do something nice that makes your spouse happy — take a walk together, make their favorite dish or load the dishwasher the way they like it or take the kids away so they can have solo time — make a schedule, find a favorite wine, whatever is their love language. (And don’t forget your anniversary.)
7. Schedule teatime. Take time to make the family a restorative cup of tea or two. Frequent green tea drinkers were 21% less likely to develop depression over their lifetime than those who were nondrinkers, a 2018 study conducted in South Korea found.
8. Host a family dance party. Have a family dance party to all sorts of music (’70s, anyone?) and show the kids you can salsa or boogie or slide with the best of them.
9. Phone a relative. So many grandparents are missing their children and grandchildren, so why not call a relative? And if you miss someone, you can call them, too.
10. Heritage recipe hunt. Call the main chef in your family and ask her or him to walk you through a longtime family recipe. Then make it. If they claim you have to have a certain ingredient from the old country, ask for another recipe.
11. Talk to your children about race. Educating our children beyond their own identities will help them navigate the wider world in a thoughtful way. Start early with Ibram X. Kendi’s board book, “Antiracist Baby.” Middle school children may like the young adult version of “Born a Crime,” Comedy Central host Trevor Noah’s memoir of growing up in apartheid South Africa. Adults can dig into former Spelman College President Beverly Daniel Tatum’s classic, “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?“
Kindness in the community
12. Bake for a neighbor. My favorite neighbors stress bake and share their baked goods. Those last scones were so good, and scones go with tea (see above). There is still so much more to bake.
13. Communicate your gratitude. Handwritten letters have become a sort of lost art, but there is nothing like receiving a handwritten note that shows care, intention and the reasons why someone loves and appreciates you. Think of the colleagues, friends and family members you cherish and why, then let them know. The simple things often mean the most.
14. Grocery shop for someone who needs it. You may have neighbors who are housebound or could use a helping hand; food banks are seeing more people in need.
15. Hand out snack bags. Gather shelf-stable snacks, bottles of water, socks and wipes into bags to hand out to people who need them (be sure to do so safely from 6 feet away).
16. Support a local restaurant. Order a takeout meal this week from a local joint that needs your business.
17. Vote and register people to vote. If you live in Georgia, you have two (yes, two) runoff elections coming up, Dec. 1 and Jan. 5. If you don’t live in Georgia, you can still help register people to vote in your state.
Kindness for the Earth
18. Take a hike. Hiking any time of year is good for you and shows support for our parks and other public natural spaces. More than ever, we need nature.
19. Buy food from farmers. Shopping at your local farmers markets or direct from farmers supports local businesses growing good food.
20. Volunteer in a litter cleanup: Organize or join a community cleanup of a local beach or neighborhood park.
21. Reduce, reuse, recycle and compost. Even as single-use packaging might be piling up in your home — and eventually landfills — there are ways to reduce our footprint.
22. Turn off your lights. Just when you don’t need them. So many of us are working from home, and that’s quite the electric bill. Turning them off saves money and resources.
Three more things
23. Social distance. It’s OK to sometimes see people if you stay apart (6 feet at least). Lawn chairs spread around a firepit sounds good right about now.
24. Dress for the season and play outside. Whether you live where we’re heading into winter (so bundle up) or summer (shorts weather), experts say it’s good to get outside for our physical, mental and emotional health.
25. Wear a mask. It can be annoying or uncomfortable, but it signals to the world that you don’t want to get other people sick or possibly kill them, and new research shows it protects you, too. (Quote source here.)
So, let’s go out into the world today and be kind to someone, anyone, and everyone! Let’s spread the kindness, and…
YouTube Video: “Speak Life” by TobyMac:
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