November 13th is World Kindness Day. I can’t decide whether this is a good or bad thing.
Part of me is sad that we need to have such a day to remind ourselves of how important it is to be kind in our day to day lives. It’s a sign that we aren’t kind enough, or often enough, as a general rule. It’s a sign that we need to be reminded.
We don’t need to be reminded to eat, brush our teeth, or check our Facebook feeds. But we need to be reminded to be kind.
And so, we have World Kindness Day. In fact, we’ve had it for 18 years and the other part of me is glad that there is such an initiative, that aims to promote the conscious choice of kindness.
Kindness is a generosity of spirit that comes to life when we give of ourselves and our time, to be of help to others, without expecting anything in return. And it is one of the best things we can practice—for ourselves every bit as much as for others.
When we show kindness to somebody it brings out the best in us and a side-effect of brightening up somebody else’s day is to feel happier in the moment ourselves.
World Kindness Day is a day to remember this impact that kindness can have on us, if we’re not already in the habit of practicing it regularly. And hopefully, as we consciously experience the effect of kindness, we might begin to more deliberately weave it into our daily lives going forward.
It is a day to maybe make a special effort. And yet “a special effort” need not require a great effort at all.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ~ Leo Buscaglia
And the place to begin is right where we are—with ourselves. Because, with all positive habits, a strong inner foundation enables us to contribute more and better to the world around us.
“Be gentle first with yourself if you wish to be gentle with others.” ~ Lama Yeshe
So, let’s make a conscious effort to treat ourselves well as we begin our day, this Friday and every day. And from there, let’s go out into the world and spread kindness. Here’s some more quotes to inspire you:
“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” ~ Og Mandino
“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” ~ Lao Tzu
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” ~ Aesop
“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” ~ Mark Twain
“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” ~ Scott Adams
“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Practice kindness all day to everybody and you will realize you’re already in heaven now.” ~ Jack Kerouac
“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” ~ Dalai Lama
Author: Hilda Carroll
Editor: Renée Picard