A pair of wise men from the 1980s once said: “Be excellent to each other.” That is the heart of World Kindness Day, celebrated every November 13.
The folks at National Today — the internet’s #1 authority on holidays — have their finger on the pulse of all the reasons to celebrate throughout the year. And, on World Kindness Day, they’re encouraging everyone to adhere to the idea that kindness makes the world a better place. One random act of kindness can grow exponentially and ignite a movement.
Be kind, America. It’s time. There’s no dancing around the issue that incivility is a national epidemic. People young and old don’t simply perceive incivility—they witness or experience it daily. The Be Kind People Project (BKPP) has a solution to initiate positive change. Be Kind.
Kindness is intentionally extending good to others (Def: The Be Kind People Project). The national focus during the month of November is designed to encourage a collective awareness, pay-it-forward actions, and a conscious commitment to being kind people by citizens, communities, businesses, and schools.
This year, National Today is suggesting a few ways that everyone can be kind to each other (hopefully not just on November 13, but hey, it’s a start). Some are easy, some are harder. But remember, kindness is made up of layers, and each one counts.
1. Listen Without Distractions
Sometimes, the easiest way to be kind is to simply be present for someone who could use a little help. Maybe they need to talk it out, cry it out, hug it out, or yell it out. Whatever it is, listen (don’t just hear).
2. Do A Random Good Deed
So many people go through their day on autopilot that we overlook opportunities to inject a little humanity into another person’s day. Keep an eye out for those struggling around you and give them a hand when they need it without expecting anything in return. It pays forward, trust us.
3. Pay For The Person Behind You In Line
This one’s a little specific but everyone likes a little kindness especially when they least expect it. Who knows, maybe the man in line behind you at the grocery was about to spend his last $5.
4. Be Kind To Yourself Too
Wait, hear us out. Self-care is an important part of kindness. It’s much harder to be good to others if you refuse to be good to yourself. This doesn’t mean be greedy but it does mean keeping your own emotional battery full to make you more able to help others.
5. Assume The Best In People
Too often we make judgments based on little or no information that can make others feel marginalized, belittled, or downright abused. If we assume the best in people it gives them the chance to show it. It’s not foolproof (sometimes people just aren’t excellent to one another) but its a start.
Helping to make the world a better place by being kind? We invite you to send your kind stories, videos, and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org, to be featured and celebrated on social media. People can also share their stories with #BeKindAmerica in their posts and use social media frames.
Kindness is a skill, and like all skills, it must be practiced until it becomes a highly valued asset. These values impact decisions, which have a positive influence on behavior. Kind behaviors yield civility, the place that sets the best tone for discourse, social interaction, mutual respect, and positive thinking. It is also the place far removed from where we are today.
These are just a few of the literally millions of small and large ways to be kind to other people. If you’d like to learn more about World Kindness Day check out National Today or visit the Be Kind People Project.
In the meantime, here’s a quote from an actual wise man: